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Women make history, men fail

other Updated: Jul 07, 2011 01:29 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
london olympics

The Indian women’s archery team of Deepika Kumari, L Bombayla Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro booked quota berths for London Olympics on Wednesday but the men failed once again.

At the World Championships in Turin, India needed to win their first-round matches in the men’s and women’s categories of the team competition to book Olympic berths.

But while the women hit sublime form to enter the final for the first time in history and that too by defeating the formidable Koreans in the penultimate round, the men exited in the first round (round of 16), losing to China 215-216.

The India women’s team will play Italy on Sunday for the title. On Wednesday, they defeated France 216-213, Denmark 203-197 in the quarter-finals and stunned Korea with a comfortable score of 216-212 to enter the final.http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/07_07_11-metro18c.jpg

Dola Banerjee, who failed to make the team following a nagging back pain, was elated.

“This is a stupendous performance by the women. They have made it to the final beating Korea means India now have a realistic chance of winning a first ever gold at the World Championships. The women’s team has now made it to the Olympics twice in a row and that means we are getting consistent. But the sad part it that the men (her brother Rahul among
them) failed once again after showing much promise,” Dola told HT.

The men’s trio of Jayanta Talukdar, Rahul Banerjee and Guangzhou Asian Games silver medallist Tarundeep Rai got a second chance for an Olympic berth in the play-off but failed there too. By virtue of being the hosts, Great Britain are automatic entrants and since they had also made the quarter-finals in Turin, another team berth was up for grabs for those who lost in the first round. But the Indian trio could not top that round either.

Dola, however, said the men could get another outside chance of qualifying for London where the archery competition will be held at Lord’s. “I think they will get another shot to go to the Olympics at the World Cup in Ogden, USA, in June next year.

From what I have understood from WA (Fita, the world governing body is now known as World Archery federation, WA, from July 1) communications is that teams that have failed to qualify in Turin could get another chance at the World Cup next year,” Dola said.

India didn’t qualify for the men’s competition in the 2008 Olympics and Mangal Singh Champia was the lone individual entrant having bagged a continental quota place.