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Deepika Kumari wins archery gold to local delight

AFP  New Delhi, October 10, 2010
First Published: 12:33 IST(10/10/2010) | Last Updated: 17:29 IST(10/10/2010)

Shy teenager Deepika Kumari won the women's recurve archery final 6-0 at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday, collecting the home nation's second archery gold to the delight of local fans.

Kumari, 16, dominated the noisy match against England's experienced Alison Williamson, with India also taking bronze when Dola Banerjee beat Malaysia's Anbarasi Subramaniam in the battle for third place.

"We were under immense pressure today," Kumari, the top seed, said. "We just needed the gold. I was hopeful to win this medal. I just wanted to be more confident."

Boisterous Indian fans had been criticised on Friday for cheering loudly while English women were shooting in the team recurve final. India won the team gold after England's archers appeared unable to concentrate amid the din.

The row prompted the sport's ruling body to issue a statement saying crowds had to be quiet while archers drew their bows, while Mike Fennell, president of the Commonwealth Games Federation, also said athletes deserved respect.

But England had no excuses on Sunday as public announcements ordered rowdy Indian spectators to fall silence at crucial moments before joyous celebrations erupted after Kumari's victory.

"The crowd were really supportive today," silver-medallist Williamson said. "They cheered at all the right times, and I had no problems. The atmosphere was great, very friendly.

"And of course Deepika shot brilliantly, especially in the last round with three tens. That is world-class."

England have won four golds and three silvers in the archery competition, which finishes later Sunday with the men's recurve final.

India have performed strongly in the Games so far, sitting second behind Australia in the overall medals' table halfway through Sunday's action.

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