If there is an award for a team that has proved the critics wrong in the Commonwealth Games, it should go to the archery compound teams.
Written off as non-entities and unworthy of a medal, the compound archers who are considered poor cousins of the recurve, made the critics eat their words in the Games with superlative performances on Thursday.
Fighting hard as a team and not relenting under pressure, the Indian men and women by bagging a silver and bronze respectively, have opened a new chapter in the much-neglected sport of archery.
The trio of C. Srither, Ritul Chatterjee and C. Jignas went down fighting to England 231-229 in the final while the women's team, comprising of Bheigyabati Chanu, Gagandeep Kaur and Jhano Hansdah, defeated Malaysia 223-219 in the play-off for third place.
England expectedly clinched the gold in the women's section too, when it defeated Canada 232-229.
Though it was a team effort in the men's contest, a teenager stood out for his clinical display. The 16-year-old Jignas scored a 10 and 9 in every round and was warmly applauded for his consistency.
“It's been a fantastic performance. Beating world champion South Africa in the semifinals is a big achievement. I am sure the Government and the Archery Federation of India will guide us so that we bring the country more glory,” said assistant coach Harendra Singh.
It was a commendable performance from the compound archers considering the fact that they received their equipment late. “Even though there were problems in procuring the equipment, we were happy that we got them,” said Gagandeep.
The Indian compound women put behind the disappointment of losing to Canada (224-217) in the semifinals in the morning to focus on the job at hand against Malaysia.
Simpson stands out
For England, World No.1. Nicky Hunt, Nichola Simpson and Danielle Brown repeatedly hit the target for scores of 10 and 9. The 53-year-old Simpson won many fans with her display. Simpson's consistency saw her achieve a 10 throughout barring a 9 in the 23rd arrow. Hunt and Brown did not lag behind, belting out scores of 10, 9 in almost every shot.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games 2010