Archery World Cup Stage 1: Deepika Kumari ousts Korean rival to make semifinals; archers confirm four medals

The fourth-seeded Indian recurve mixed team of Ankita Bhakat and Dhiraj Bommadevara who has lost out to the top-seeded Korean duo of Lim and Kim Woojin will fight for bronze against Mexico.

Published - April 26, 2024 03:40 pm IST - Shanghai

A file photo of Deepika Kumari.

A file photo of Deepika Kumari. | Photo Credit: Reuters

Continuing her spirited progress post motherhood, former world number one Deepika Kumari eliminated Korean Jeon Hunyoung to storm into the semifinal, while compound archers continued to shine to assure India a fourth medal in the World Cup Stage 1 in Shanghai on April 26.

Deepika, the three-time Olympian, who has slipped to world No. 142 and qualified as 30th seed in the rankings round, overcame a 1-3 deficit to defeat Jeon 6-4 (27-28, 27-27, 29-28, 29-27, 28-28) in the women's recurve individual quarterfinal.

Having started off with an eight, Deepika lost the first set 27-28, but the 29-year-old continued to improve and levelled the second at 27-all, before taking the third (29-28) by dropping just one point.

From three-all, there was no stopping Deepika who went on to drill in four 10s including two X (closer to centre) from six arrows to make the semis.

Deepika, who embraced motherhood in December 2022 and returned to win the Asia Cup gold in Baghdad in February this year, may have to overcome two more Korean rivals in her bid to win a first World Cup individual gold medal since the Paris Stage 3 in June 2021.

Korean teenager Nam Suhyeon, who qualified as the seventh seed, stands in Deepika's way in the semifinal.

The other half will feature top seed and 20-year-old world No. 2 Korean Lim Sihyeon taking on Li Jiaman of China.

Jyothi, Verma confirm fourth medal

The day began with Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Abhishek Verma advancing into the compound mixed team final.

The world No. 2 Indians dropped just five points to prevail over their Mexican opponents Andrea Becerra and Lot Maximo Mendez Ortiz 155-151.

They will face lower-ranked Estonia in the gold-medal clash on Saturday. Jyothi is also a member of the women's compound team, which had entered the final on Wednesday.

With Jyothi also securing a semi-final spot in the individual section on Thursday, the World No. 3 and Asian Games gold medallist is in the hunt for a hat-trick of top podium finishes.

Overall, Indian archers have qualified in four finals, all in the team events, and are in the hunt for two medals in compound individual events -- where Jyothi and Priyansh have made the semifinals.

The four events where Indian teams have made the gold-medal round are compound men's, women's, mixed categories and men's recurve.

Having got an opening round bye, the second-seeded Indian pair of Jyothi and Verma started off by producing a flawless 160 out of 160 to knock out the lower-ranked Australian pair of Geogina Graham and Brandon Hawes by eight points.

Next up, 10th ranked Luxembourg's Mariya Shkolna and Gilles Seywert were also no match for the Indian pair, whch dropped just five points from 16 arrows to storm into the semi-finals with a 155-151 win.

In the semi-final, the Indians started on a back-foot after Andrea and Mendez Ortiz capped three 10s and one nine to take the opening end 39-38.

But the Mexicans slipped in the next set of arrows as Jyothi and Verma snatched the lead by dropping one point.

The Indians then extended their lead by three points in the penultimate round after another slip-up by the Mexicans.

Jyothi and Verma sealed the issue with a perfect 40 in the fourth end.

Recurve mixed team aims for bronze

The fourth-seeded Indian recurve mixed team of Ankita Bhakat and Dhiraj Bommadevara lost out to the top-seeded Korean duo of Lim and Kim Woojin in straight sets 0-6 (38-39, 35-36, 36-38) in the semifinal. They will fight for bronze against Mexico.

There was heartbreak for other recurve archers as Tarundeep Rai made a quarterfinal exit, losing to Andres Temino 3-7 (29-26, 27-29, 27-27, 27-30, 27-28).

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