National archery: Verma, Jyothi on top

Verma, who was eyeing to surpass his national record of 709 achieved in Delhi five years ago, fell short of his target by only three points.

File Photo: Abhishek Verma, a multiple Asian Games and World Cup medallist, showed his consistency to notch up 354 points in the first round and 352 in the second.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Abhishek Verma and V. Jyothi Surekha were on top of their game to snatch the number one spots in men and women compound individual rankings in the NTPC National Archery Championships at the Barabati Stadium here on Wednesday.

In hot and humid conditions, Verma and Jyothi scored an identical 706 after two 50m rounds.

Delhi boy Verma, a multiple Asian Games and World Cup medallist, showed his consistency to notch up 354 points in the first round and 352 in the second to establish a two-point lead over Sangrampreet Singh Bisla of Punjab and Rajat Chouhan of Rajasthan.

Verma, who was eyeing to surpass his national record of 709 achieved in Delhi five years ago, fell short of his target by only three points. “It was very humid, which drained the energy. It became all the more difficult in the second round when the temperature rose. I was so close to the National record, but considering the tough conditions it is a good performance,” said Verma.

Two others, Sunendu Roy (702, fourth) of Railways and M.R. Bhardwaj of Services (700, fifth), crossed the 700 mark.

Among other prominent names, M. Bikram Singh and Aman Saini were tied on 699 to take fifth and sixth slots respectively.

Jyothi gave one of her finest performances as she enjoyed a handsome 10-point lead over her nearest competitor Monali Jadhao of All India Police.

Jyothi of Petroleum Sports Promotion Board shot the arrows confidently as she secured 351 points in the first go and improved it further to score 355 in the second.

“I was shooting really well, so I did not bother about the scores. I have done 706 in the past, but touching 355 was a first for me,” said Jyothi, a World championships and Asian Games silver medallist.

Young archer Priya Gurjar and Prabhjot Kaur, locked on 694, claimed the third and fourth places respectively.

Accomplished athletes Purvasha Shende, Trisha Deb and Swati Dudhwal notched up 692 each to end up at fifth, sixth and seventh slots respectively. Muskan Kirar was ninth with 691.