Rio de Janeiro: India’s greatest archery hope 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, 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.
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It was mainly because of Laishram Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi that India gave a stiff competition to the London Olympics semi-finalists. 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. In the men’s section, India’s lone competitor is Atanu Das, who had qualified for the final with an impressive overall position of 5th in the qualifying round. PTI