World Archery Championships: Indian men's recurve team bags Olympic quota

With that win, the trio of Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das and Pravin Jadhav also qualify for the quarterfinals of the men's recurve competition.

The trio of Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das and Pravin Jadhav not only qualified for the quarterfinals of the men's recurve competition, but also bagged a full three-member quota for the 2020 Olympic Games.   -  Special Arrangement

The Indian men's recurve team thumped Canada 5-3 to bag a full three-member quota for the 2020 Olympic Games at the World Archery Championships in Den Bosch, the Netherlands on Wednesday.

The trio of Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das and Pravin Jadhav took the lead in the first set after edging Canada by one point, finishing at 56-55. In the second set, India carried on the fine show to maintain the lead with a score of 57-56. However, Canada bounced back to take the third set 58-54 after India scored a 7 off the last attempt in the third set. However, in the fourth set the teams drew 57-57 to bag a set point each.

This win also ensures three qualifying spots for the country in the men's individual recurve event in 2020 Olympics.

In the round of eight at the World Archery Championships, the team will play against Chinese Taipei which beat France 5-4, winning the shoot-off 29-25.

This was for the first time after the 2012 London Olympics that Indian men could secure a team quota. They had failed to qualify for Rio Games three years back and had an individual entry in Atanu Das, who had lost in the pre-quarterfinals.

“We finally made it. We are gelling well as a team and looking forward to Tokyo now. This is the moment to keep going for 2020,” two-time Olympian Rai, a member of the London Olympics, said.

“I’m sure the opponents were feeling exactly the same pressure. So the key was to keep calm and it worked well for us,” the 35-year-old Army archer said.

READ: World Archery Championships: Indian women's recurve team loses to Belarus, misses out on Tokyo 2020 quota

Das, who was India’s lone entry in the men’s section, also sounded ecstatic.

“We started off very well. I think this the best team we ever made. We worked so hard to get this point. We did not qualify in the last Olympics. So this is going to be a turning point for Indian archery,” Das said.

The eight quarterfinalists win full three-athlete quotas, while the top four individual athletes from nations not qualified in the team event collect a single berth for their respective countries.

The compound events

Earlier, 29th seed Abhishek Verma, Bhagwan Das (35th) and Rajat Chauhan (88th), and woman archer Jyothi Surekha Vennam (17th) advanced to round three in the compound section.

Having put up an outstanding show in the ranking round where she finished in the top-eight, Muskan Kirar got a bye into the round of 32.

The 19-year-old from Jabalpur shot 54 perfect arrows which included 24 times X (closest to the centre) for an overall score of 701 points over the 72-arrow 50-metre ranking round.

Led by Muskan’s display, India women’s compound team (2099 points) finished third in the ranking round behind Colombia (2111) and Korea (2101) and directly entered the prequarters where it beat France 236-226 to progress to the quarters.

Compound men’s team, who got a 14th place in the ranking, defeated Spain 235-229 in the first round to set up a pre-quarterfinal clash against third seeded Turkey.

India also remained in the medal fray in the compound mixed pair event where Verma and Muskan entered directly into last-16 with a top eight finish in the ranking round.

India will face Germany in the compound mixed pair pre-quarterfinals.

Internal issues

The Indian team’s preparation earlier this year was marred by infighting in the national federation which is staring at suspension from World Archery for electing two parallel bodies.

Internal wrangling by two faction groups had led the archers to pull out of the World Cup Stage I in Medellin under bizarre circumstances of missing their connecting flight.

To make up for the loss, the BVP Rao-led group had organised the acclimatisation camp for the recurve archers in Breda, The Netherlands.

(With inputs from PTI)