Indian archer Deepika Kumari failed to deliver when it mattered the most as Russia won a closely-contested quarter-final 5-4 via shoot-off in the women’s recurve archery competition of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday.
After the two teams were tied at 4-4, having won two sets each, the Russian trio of Tuiana Dashidorzhieva, Ksenia Perova and Inna Stepanova held its nerves in the shoot-off winning it by 25-23 margin.
Deepika, whose form has been the worst of three Indian archers in the fray, needed to shoot a perfect 10 in the final shot but the highly rated Jharkhand archer could only manage an 8 under floodlights at the Sambodromo arena.
It was mainly because of Laishram Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi that India gave a stiff competition to the London Olympics semi-finalists.
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India lost the first set comprehensively 55-48 before Bombayla and Laxmirani hit perfect 10s in the second set to equalise the scores at 53-52.
India won the third set by 53-50 mainly due to Stepanova getting one of her shots wrong, fetching only 6 points.
Up 4-2, India could have clinched the issue in the fourth set when they needed a perfect score of 30 with their second set of arrows and equalise the Russian team’s score of 55 and thereby win by a 5-3 margin having tied the score.
Bombayla and Laxmirani hit the bull’s eye and Deepika needed to follow the suit. It was another moment of reckoning where she scored only 9 thereby handing over the set to Russia by a 55-54 margin which enabled them to take the match into the shoot-off round.
Earlier, India had beaten Colombia in the pre-quarterfinal 5-3 to make it to the last eight stage.
The trio of Deepika, Bombayla and Laxmirani will now be a part of the individual recurve event.