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Asian Games: India make a splash in archery's home

other Updated: Sep 28, 2014 03:45 IST
Ajai Masand
Ajai Masand
Hindustan Times
Rajat Chauhan

It was akin to the three musketeers standing up to an army. The roar from the stands was deafening, growing louder with each round. But Rajat Chauhan, Sandeep Kumar and Abhishek Verma stood firm to defeat the mighty South Korea in the non-Olympic compound archery men's team final, giving India a gold.

The festive atmosphere reflected the rich archery tradition in this country. Although they reign supreme in recurve, the Olympic discipline, Koreans were unlikely to back down.

But India achieved their mission gold with distinction. And the moment they triumphed, the crowd turned fans, cheering on till the three archers returned to their tent.


On an overcast day, they demonstrated their proficiency as the arrows hit the bull's eye routinely. Still what perhaps sealed the 227-225 win was a rank bad shot by a Korean in the fourth series, a seven.

The joy was compounded as Abhishek Verma clinched individual silver and Trisha Deb, who had helped the women's team clinch the bronze medal, then claimed third place in the individual event.

Abhishek Verma, after his team gold, looked in cracking form to win the individual gold as well. The manner in which he decimated South Korean Choi Yonghee in the semi-final made him 'automatic choice' for gold with the spectators, who on Saturday seemed charmed by India. One of them even said she wanted to see India's archery structure.

With Choi conquered 147-142, it was Iran's Ebadi Esmaeil in the final. Abhishek walked on to the field flashing a confident smile. Ebadi looked dead serious, his coach more so.


After the first series of three shots, Abhishek led 29-28, but some poor shots that fetched a couple of eights left him trailing by three points before the last set of three shots. Ebadi gave no chance with all 10s and Abhishek, after a sequence of 10-9-10, lost 141-145.

The shy Trisha made the most of "God's gift" when it mattered. Hailing from West Bengal but forced to shift to Punjab to support her family, she was handed the bronze on a platter while trailing by a sizeable margin after her opponent, Taiwan's Huang Jou, had a blank shot in the last series. Trisha, who took up compound after failing make it in recurve, won 138-134.

"This medal will at least help me get a decent job. My father is a clerk who makes receipts in an old-age home in Kolkata and my mother is a housewife. We are very poor," she added.

Trisha, Purvasha Shende and Jyothi Surekha bagged the women's team bronze with a 224-217 win against Iran.