Rio de Janeiro: Archer Deepika Kumari expressed bewilderment after a dismal show during the women’s team event where the Indian team finished a dejecting seventh in the qualification round of the Rio Olympics Games, here. All Deepika managed was 640 out of 720 which was good enough for a 20th position while experienced Bombayla Devi Laishram shot 638 to finish 24th and Laxmirani Majhi finished 43rd with 614 points.
“Nothing was wrong apart from the wind. It was difficult to follow and understand. I shot the arrow and it was a miss. Of course is not what I expected, but there’s nothing I can do about it now,” Deepika said after the event. The wayward performance will affect India’s medal prospects as a top four-finish would have given them a bye to the quarters but the team, which logged 1892 points together, will now begin the elimination stage from the first round of 16 tomorrow. They will open their campaign against Colombia who were ranked 10th. If they manage to advance, India may face second ranked Russia and third ranked China in their prospective quarters and semifinal clashes.
The double Commonwealth Games gold medalist led by one point after 30 arrows only to slip in the sixth end when she shot a poor 49 with scores of 9,9,8,8,8,7. The worst happened in the last arrow of the seventh end when she drew a blank by completely missing the target. Deepika raised her game from the next five ends by securing 13 perfect 10s from 30 arrows but it could only raise her ranking up to 20. In the individual round, Deepika will face 45th ranked Kristine Esebua of Georgia, while Bombayla will take on 41st ranked Laurence Baldauff of Austria and Laxmirani’s first round challenger would be Alexandra Longova of Slovakia.
In the morning session yesterday, Atanu Das showed fine composure and skill to bounce back from a poor start to finish fifth in the qualification round as archery got underway at Brazil’s historic Samba street here. Lying a lowly 10th after first 36 arrows, the 24-year-old Kolkata lad turned it around in style in the final set of 36 arrows by shooting 23 perfect 10s including 10 closest to the centre to finish fifth with 683 out of the possible 720. PTI
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