Archery World Cup: Verma shines in qualification round

India’s Abhishek Verma took the third spot in the fourth stage of the qualification round with 709 points.

File Photo: Abhishek Verma conceded his 709 was “not a bad score.”   -  Getty Images

Indian compound archer Abhishek Verma had a near perfect run in the first 36 arrows before finishing third in the fourth stage of the qualification round at the Archery World Cup in Berlin on Tuesday.

Verma, the Asian Games gold medallist, got off to a glorious start with five perfect rounds to make it 300 out of 300. But in the sixth round, he shot just outside the 10 ring for 35 perfect 10s to lead with 359/360 points at the midway stage. “If you hit five 60 rounds, you know it’s time to create a world record. There’s a lot of pressure. My shot was just outside the 10 ring, but it’s not a bad score,” Verma said.

‘Done my best’

Dutchman Mike Schloesser overtook the Indian in the last 36 arrows to top the qualification round as Verma had to be content with the third spot with 709 points. “Overall, our group is good. Maybe we’re lacking some ranking round points from the team, but we have time. I’m confident about the finals. I’m preparing harder than previously and I think I’ve done my best,” Verma, who has got a bye into the round of 32, said.

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In the recurve section later in the day, former World No. 1 Deepika Kumari finished ninth to get a bye into the second round. In contrast, Atanu Das finished poorly to be placed 26th with 651 points. Fresh from her gold medal win at the Salt Lake City leg of the World Cup last month, Deepika was among top three at halfway mark (331 points). However, she slipped to the ninth place with 641 points.

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