It was a novel experience for the Indian archers. They are not used to hundreds egging them on from the stands. What a boost it was at the Yamuna Sports Complex as they scripted one upset after another to be in reckoning for a medal.
With some super performances by the compound bow teams, India are now in all the team semifinals --- recurve and compound.
The recurve women's team was already in the semis and they were expectedly joined by the men on Wednesday morning. But it was the afternoon session that upped the spirits.
All the six compound archers had bowed out of the individual competition to end Tuesday on a disappointing note. But they came right back to record one of their biggest achievements. Both the men's and women's compound teams entered the semifinal.
The women's team, led by the veteran and ever-composed, Jhanu Hansda, Gagandeep Kaur and Bheigyabati Chanu, who could not have found a better time to return to form, shot their best score (227) in the team event to upstage formidable Australia. They now face Canada for a place in the final.
The men's team was not lagging behind. Ritul Chatterjee, CH Jignas and C Srither backed each other to cruise past Trinidad and Tobago and then edged out New Zealand by the final arrow amid ear-splitting cheers from the stands. The few hundred supporters were joined by volunteers to virtually shout the Kiwis out of the match. The men face South Africa on Thursday.
While the Indian recurve teams are front-runners in the world, the compound archers have not been able to make an impression. Top Archery Association of India officials too believed whatever India achieved in the compound bow events would be a bonus. Now here they are, ready to battle it out for one of the most defining achievements of their careers.