Jakarta: India suffered two heart-breaking losses to South Korea in the men’s and women’s compound archery finals to settle for silver medals at the Asian Games here Tuesday.
Both the finals were fiercely contested. While the women faltered in the final set, the men could easily blame their luck after the final went into a shoot-off with scores in the fourth set tied at 229-229.
Defending champions India and Korea shot 29 each in the shoot-off but the latter scraped via a measured win, which implies shots closest to the bull’s eye (inner 10).
It was a perfect start to the men’s final from India as the team of Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan and Aman Saini shot a maximum 60 to Korea’s 56 in the opening set. Korea however, won the second set 58-54 to tie up the score.
The third set went in India’s favour 58-56, giving them a much need two point advantage going into the final set. There was a gold at stake and senior archer Verma constantly fired up his teammates.
Verma delivered when it mattered most, shooting couple of 10 pointers in the final set. But when the judges ruled two 9s to 10s, it was 229-229, pushing the final into a dramatic shoot-off.
India shot a 9, 10 and 10 and Korea shot a 10-9-10. The score was tied but Korea were declared winners as they had more shots close to the bull’s eye.
“You can’t say much about finals like these. The wind direction also played a role. It is just bad luck for us today,” said a dejected Verma.
Earlier, the trio of Muskar Kirar, Madhumita Kumari and Surekha Vennam matched the mighty South Koreans quite literally until the final set in which the only eight pointer of the match, shot by Madhumita proved costly. The Koreans won the final set 58-55 and final 231-228.
India had won a bronze in the same event at Incheon four years ago. “We have improved on our last time’s performance so that is a big positive. The wind conditions were tricky but we were pretty consistent until the final set. We are really happy with our performance,” 22-year-old Surekha, who was part of the bronze-winning team in the previous edition, said.