Archery: Deepika Kumari finishes 9th in ranking round, Pravin Jadhav in 31st place

World No.1 Deepika Kumari finished ninth with 663 points in the individual women’s category while Indian men archers gave a below-par performance in the ranking round of the archery competitions.

India's Deepika Kumari in action during the women's individual ranking round in Tokyo.   -  REUTERS

World No.1 Deepika Kumari finished ninth with 663 points in the individual women’s category while Indian men archers gave a below-par performance in the ranking round of the archery competitions on the opening day of the Tokyo Olympics on Friday.

Pravin Jadhav, Atanu Das and Tarundeep Rai scored 656 (329+327), 653 (329+324), and 652 (323+329) points out of a maximum 720 to take 31st, 35th and 37th slots respectively on the men’s ranking list.

Three Koreans, Je Deok Kim (688), Jinheyk Oh (681) and Woojin Kim (680), at first, third and fourth places respectively, grabbed three of the top four places after showing their shooting skills over the 70m distance.

American legend Brady Ellison was second with 682 points. Two Dutchmen, Steve Wijler (675) Sjef van der Berg (670), were also inside the best eight.

The Indian men’s team managed the ninth spot with 1961 points, way behind top-ranked Korea on 2049 points.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics Archery highlights, Day 1 - Deepika 9th; Pravin, Atanu outside top-30 in individual ranking  

Jadhav replaced India’s top archer Das to emerge as the best male archer of the country to join Deepika in the mixed team event. The Indian mixed team was also ninth with 1319 points while top-placed Korea scored 1368 points.

The Indian men’s performance was disappointing as two of three shot below what they scored in the World Cup Stage-3 in Paris a month ago. Das had gathered 664 points, while Jadhav had got 662 points in the French capital. Only Rai bettered his ranking score by two points here.

Interestingly, out of 36 opening shots of the trio, 34 were 10s. Each of them consistently faltered as a round progressed. In fact, of the 108 last three arrows shot by the Indians, only one fetched a 10!

Jadhav was the most consistent of the three, scoring between 53 and 56 in a round. Das, who scored a five in the last shot of his penultimate round, gathered between 52 and 58, while Rai scored between 52 and 57.

Jadhav will face Russian Galsan Bazarhapov, Das will meet Yu-Cheng Deng of Chinese Taipei and Rai will take on Oleksii Hunbin of Ukraine in the opening elimination round. India will face Chinese Taipei in mixed team round of 16 and the men's team will square off against Kazakhstan on Monday.

Both the men's and mixed teams will likely meet South Korea in the last-eight if they cross the first hurdle.

Tokyo Olympics, Archery: Deepika, Atanu, Tarundeep, Pravin carry India's hopes  

Deepika, whose best score at an international event is 686 and the best score on the domestic circuit is 690 at the trials for the Rio Games, had collected 674 in Paris.

In Tokyo, she scored 334 points after the first six rounds, including her worst (51) and best (59) rounds fourth and fifth respectively.

She performed well thereafter and rose to the sixth position after shooting a 58 in the 10th round. But scores of 53, her only round without a 10, and 54 in the last two pulled her back as she could collect 329 points in the last six rounds.

Deepika will face Bhutan’s Karma in the first elimination round. She might face South Korea's top-ranked Olympic-record holder An San in the quarterfinals.

The Koreans, who stayed away from international competitions in the run-up to the Olympics, once again showed their class taking the top three places. An San (680), Jang Minhee (677) and Kang Chae Young (675) took the top three places and registered a team total of 2032 points to post better scores than the previous Olympic records, including the individual record (673) of Lina Herasimenko of Ukraine in 1996 and women's team record of 2004 set by Korea in 2008.

The top-eight places also included two Mexicans, Alejandra Valencia (674) and Aida Roman (665).

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