In a first, Indian men’s recurve archers claim silver - Hindustan Times

In a first, Indian men’s recurve archers claim silver

By, Hangzhou
Oct 06, 2023 11:45 PM IST

They lost to South Korea’s world champion team in the men’s team final. The Indian women claimed bronze

The Indian men’s recurve archery team faltered at the final hurdle but still made a slice of history at the Fuyang Yinhu Sports Centre here on Friday. The trio of Atanu Das, Dhiraj Bommadevara and Tushar Shelke became the first Indian men’s team to win a silver at the Asian Games, bettering the twin bronze won in 2006 Doha and 2010 Guangzhou.

Indian men’s recurve team comprising of Atanu Das, Dhiraj Bommadevara and Tushar Shelke with silver medal in the team event (Narendra Modi Twitter)
Indian men’s recurve team comprising of Atanu Das, Dhiraj Bommadevara and Tushar Shelke with silver medal in the team event (Narendra Modi Twitter)

The Indians lost 1-5 to the reigning world champions of South Korea -- Lee Woo-seok, Oh Jin-hyek, and Kim Je-deok. Oh Jin-hyek and Kim Je-deok were also part of Korea’s gold-winning men’s recurve team at the Tokyo Olympics.

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Indonesia defeated Bangladesh 6-0 to clinch the bronze

“Finally, I’m not going home empty-handed. It feels amazing, we fought like warriors and we’re happy with it,” said the seasoned Atanu Das.

The 31-year-old three-time Asian Championships medallist denied the archers were nervous going up against the world No.1 team.

“Everyone is the same in the field. Everyone has the same capability. You can get tense and sometimes make a little mistake and it will cost you. Or you can make some good shots and you can win the match.”

The Indian team beat Bangladesh 4-2 in the semi-finals after going past Mongolia 5-4 in the quarters. On Monday, the Indian trio had blanked Hong Kong 6-0 in the round of 16.

India’s high performance director Sanjeeva Singh took heart from the silver and said the team’s chances of qualifying for the Paris Olympics are still on track.

“India is currently ranked fourth in the world. So winning silver will keep our ranking up, and we have the chance to directly qualify based on world ranking,” he said.

“We have been working hard and now we are touching Korea. Next year, we will topple Korea. That’s the target for Paris 2024.”

Speaking about the men’s team campaign, he said, “We did wonderfully well. If you look at Bangladesh (semi-final) and Korea, they were all very close fights. Now we are just at the cusp. I just need to keep on exposing them to tournaments and they will rise. Now they have the confidence to beat Korea.”

In women, the team of Ankita Bhakat, Bhajan Kaur and Simranjeet Kaur defeated Vietnam’s Do Thi Anh Nguyet, Nhi Thi Thanh Nguyen and Phuong Thao Hoang 6-2 to win the bronze medal. South Korea bagged gold with a 5-3 win over China in the final.

On Saturday, an in-form Jyothi Surekha will be in action in the women’s individual compound gold medal match against South Korea's So Chae-won. The 27-year-old, in her third Asian Games, has won the mixed team and women’s team gold medals and has a good chance of signing off with a golden hat-trick.

Among men, world champion Ojas Pravin Deotale will face off against compatriot Abhishek Verma for the gold medal in an all-Indian men's compound individual final.

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