The Indian trio of Jayanta Talukdar, Rahul Banerjee and Mangal Singh Champia fought through challenging conditions to clinch the men's team bronze after beating Chinese Taipei in the Archery competition of the Asian Games.
Like women, the Indian men defeated Chinese Taipei but with a more comprehensive 220-216 margin as compared to the women's 218-217 victory in the bronze medal play-off. Incidentally, both men and women lost to world's top archers from South Korea in the semifinals before clinching the bronze medal.
The Indians scored 28 and 29 for a total of 57 in the first set of six arrows, 56 (29 and 27) in the second set and flagged a bit to get 53 (26 and 27) in the third and 54 in the fourth and last set (27 and 27).
They shot a total of eight 10s and bulls eyes. Taipei started off badly scoring only 52 in the first set (27 and 25), did the same as their rivals in the second scoring 58 (28 and 28) before outperforming the Indians in the third with 58 (28 and a fabulous 30).
But Taipei could score only 50 (26 and 24) in the last when they needed 54 to tie with the Indians and force a shoot-off. In the semis, India were beaten by South Korea 222-216 before the latter went on to grab the gold by outsmarting hosts China 222-218.
"It was a close one. We were not tense after losing to Korea in the semi finals as we knew we will be able to pull it off," said Talukdar about the bronze play-off with Taipei. Banerjee blamed the wind for the misses and said the archer who could hold his own in these difficult conditions emerged on top. "The wind was too heavy.
Anyone who could keep calm could pull it off," he said. Champia saw an upswing in the Indian display here compared to Doha four years ago when only one team bronze was won.
"There is definitely an improvement in our performance in Asian Games as we have already got two medals (both bronze) ahead of the (two-day) individual events commencing tomorrow," he said.