Indian archers win bronze in men's team event


Staff member
Guangzhou November 23:

Indian archers added one more bronze medal to their kitty as they finished third in the men's team event at the Asian Games here.

Yesterday, women had won their maiden title in the competition after being placed third. Like the women, Indian men overwhelmed Chinese Taipei 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 Champion South Korea in the semifinals. This is the first time India has won two medals in the team events at the Asian Games archery events. ''In 2006 at Doha, we had managed a bronze in men's team event so this is certainly an improvement,'' said Archery Association of India (AAI) secretary Paresh Mukherjee.

The Indian team comprised Rahul Banerjee, Mangal Singh Champia and Jayanta Talukdar. 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 8 10s and bulls eyes.

Taipei started off on a bad note, 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). However, Taipei could score only 50 (26 and 24) in the last when they needed 54 to tie with then Indians and force a shoot-off and they lost the bronze to India. 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 semifinals as we knew we will be able to pull it off,'' said Talukdar about the bronze play-off with Taipei. Banerjee said he missed some targets due to wind and added, ''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 four years ago in Doha, 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 (2-day) individual events commencing tomorrow,'' he said. Earlier in the day, India thrashed Bangaldesh 221-186 and then accounted for Nepal 221-194 but slipped against Korea.

''Both the teams failed to perform upto the expectations,'' said Indian team manager Gunjan Abrol. ''Our score(216) was not what we had expected. We hoped for higher score, but even the World Champions found it hard in the windy conditions.'' Abrol exuded confidence of his archers winning medals in the Individual events starting tomorrow. ''We have high hopes from Deepika and Rimil in women section and from Rahul Banerjee and Tarundeep Rai in men section,'' he added.