A young Madhya Pradesh side pipped an accomplished Jharkhand outfit 5-4 via shoot-off to claim its maiden recurve women’s team title at the 40th NTPC National archery championships here on Friday.
Madhya Pradesh, consisting of Amey Rai, Vitasha Thakur and Soniya Thakur, shot closer to the centre in a 28-28 shoot-off score line after tying 4-4 with the host, comprising India team regulars Komalika Bari and Ankita Bhakat and Dipti Kumari, in the final.
Tense victories via shoot-offs over Punjab (5-4, 26-24) in the quarterfinals and Rajasthan (5-4, 26-25) in the semifinals prepared the Madhya Pradesh archers — who are products of the Madhya Pradesh Archery Academy in Jabalpur — to hold their nerve in the most crucial moment of the final.
“It is a proud moment for us. All these girls are between 16 and 20 years of age and have proved themselves at junior level events. This is their first big win at the elite level,” said M.P. coach Richpal Singh Salaria.
Haryana, consisting of Akash Malik, Sachin Gupta and Basant Kumar, defeated a talented Maharashtra side, including World youth championships team gold winner Parth Salunkhe, Yashdeep Bhoge and Om Vithalkar, 5-1 in the final to take the recurve men’s team crown.
In the individual ranking round, Jayanta Talukdar, returning to a competition after recovering from COVID-19, scored 680 points to bag the top spot among men. B. Dhiraj (678) and Salunkhe (673) took the second and third spots respectively. Atanu Das (660) was 13th.
Deepika Kumari gathered 665 points to emerge as the top-ranked woman. She was followed by Komalika (655) and Simranjeet Kaur (649).
Recurve Team results: Men: Final: Haryana bt Maharashtra 5-1; Third place: Jharkhand bt Rajasthan 6-0.
Women: Final: Madhya Pradesh bt Jharkhand 5-4 (28*-28); Third place: Rajasthan bt Maharashtra 5-3 .