Belying all expectations, the Indian men's and women's compound teams defeated higher-ranked countries to enter the semifinals of the Commonwealth Games archery competition at the Yamuna Sports Complex here on Wednesday.
The women's team came up with a fantastic performance to put it across Australia 227-220 while the men pipped New Zealand 226-225.
The women will face Canada and the men will take on South Africa in the last four clashes on Thursday.
Bheigyabati Chanu was the star of the day in the women's compound. She consistently shot 10, 9 and 8. A few days ago, it was anything but perfect for the 32-year-old in the individual category.
But India's assistant coach Harendra Singh's constant motivation helped Chanu rise to the occasion. Jhano Hansdah and Gagandeep Kaur did what was expected of them. “We concentrated on Bheigyabati in practice as she was in very bad form in the individuals. But she shot exceptionally well today,” said Harendra.
The Indian men's recurve team overcame a stiff competition from Sri Lanka before prevailing 213-205 in the quarterfinals. India takes on a strong Australian team on Friday led by two-time Olympian Matthew Gray, Taylor Worth and Mat Masonwells.
Rahul Banerjee was on target scoring 10, 9 and 8 throughout. So was Jayanta Talukdar. But Tarundeep Rai's poor form continued as he shot 7 twice. At the half-way stage, India was leading by just a point — 103-102. But the home team recovered quite well in the third and fourth ends to script a victory.
The women's recurve team received a bye into the semifinals where it will face Malaysia on Friday. England women, too, received a bye into the last four. India's chief coach Limba Ram admitted that the men's recurve archers' performance was well below par. “We certainly didn't shoot to our standards, whereas they exceeded their level. I think we were complacent. Against Australia, we can't afford that,” he said.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games 2010