The Indian archers failed to dig themselves out of the hole that they found themselves in following their below par fare in the ranking round. The archers lost 27-29 to Japan in the shoot-off after the teams were tied 214-214 in the pre-quarterfinals of the men’s team competition at Lord’s here on Saturday.

For the world No.5 to crash out before the quarterfinals was difficult to digest especially after Indian archery had given a good hint of progress in the last Asian Games, apart from the World Cups.

Jayanta Talukdar captured the essence of the match when he said that the team could not get the 10s, and were bogged by the 9s, including three of them in the shoot-off.

“I feel it has happened because of the pressure. We tried to hit 10s, but it was always 9s,” he said.

The Asian Games silver medallist, Tarundeep Rai was more optimistic and emphasised that the archers had to focus on the individual event and eke out something from the Games.

Rahul Banerjee bemoaned the fact that the team had its chances but was unable to capitalise on them. “We were leading by three points. We all shot well but some of our 8s put us down,” said Banerjee.

India did have a three-point lead after firing 18 of the 24 arrows, but the Japanese got it right at the end. In fact, the Indian men had a two-point lead before the last set of arrows but lost that advantage to tie the scores.

The Japanese pounced on the opportunity to set up a quarterfinal against the US.

India had four 10s and a bull’s eye while the Japanese had seven 10s that spelt the difference. Japan had two 10s to none by India in the shoot-off.

The women’s team competition will be held on Sunday, in which Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro will attempt to salvage India’s reputation, starting with a match against Denmark.

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