The Indian men’s recurve team of Rahul Banerjee, Mangal Singh Champia and Jayanta Talukdar defeated Malaysia 218-215 to win its World Cup maiden gold medal, in the third leg of the Meteksan World Cup archery meet in Antalya, Turkey, on Thursday. India had defeated Chinese Taipei at 218-210 in the semi-final earlier in the day.
India beat Kazakhstan 224-219 in the first round and accounted for the USA 221-211 before beating the Chinese Taipei and Malaysia to clinch their first-ever team gold in the World Cup. For the India men’s team who did not qualify for the Beijing Olympics, the feat was all the more creditable as the field had most of the Olympics-bound teams including Korea, who lost 210-216 to Germany in the first round.
In the individual event, Rahul Banerjee lost in the semi-final, 9-10 in the tie-breaker after he and Bardy Ellison of the US were locked at 110.
Banerjee, ranked eighth, had made it to the final of the second World Cup at Porec, Croatia, losing to Romain Girouille of France. The Steel Plant archer will now play Park Kyung Mo of Korea for the bronze medal. Banerjee had beaten Park in the semi-finals in Porec.
A lot was expected of Beijing-bound Mangal Singh Champia who finished on top after the FITA round. The top-seeded Indian came a cropper against 16th-ranked Markiyan Ivashko of Ukraine at 108-113 in the pre-quarterfinals.
Indian women’s disappointing show continued. The best-placed Indian, 28th ranked Reena Kumari lost in the second round and the other two, 46th placed Punya Prabha and 49th-ranked Laishram Bombayla Devi lost in the first round.
The women’s recurve team of Dola Banerjee, Reena and Bombayla lost 191-193 to Japan in the first round.