SAG: Indian recurve teams make clean sweep

In the men's final, Tarundeep Rai, making a comeback, defeated Gurucharan Besra 6-4. Deepika Kumari outwitted Bombalya Devi 6-4 to bag the women's title.

India's Deepika Kumari and Tarundeep Rai won the gold medal in the recurve mixed team event at the South Asian Games in Shillong.   -  M Moorthy

India made a clean sweep in recurve archery by winning all 10 gold medals on offer in the individual and team events. In the men's final, Tarundeep Rai, making a comeback, defeated Gurucharan Besra 6-4. Deepika Kumari outwitted Bombalya Devi 6-4 to bag the women's title.

First, the women’s team, comprising Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi, defeated the Sri Lankan trio of Dilhara Salgado, Anuradha Karunaratne and Suchini Ubeysiri, without losing a set 6-0.

The men's team of Jayanta Talukdar, Tarundeep Rai and Gurucharan Besra faltered a bit in understanding the direction of the wind initially but recovered quickly to put it across Sri Lanka (Nipuna Senevirathne, Indranath, Sajeev De Silva) 5-1.

The pair of Tarundeep Rai and Deepika Kumari routed the Sri Lankan duo of Dilhara Salgado, Nipuna Senevirathne 6-0 in the last event of the morning session - the mixed recurve.

Deepika and Jayanta were of the view that the weather conditions and the shifting winds at the venue here could prove to be an ideal training ground to prepare for battles abroad. “The windy conditions made our task quite difficult,” said Deepika. Jayanta concurred: “The shifting winds made it difficult for us. So in the third round (men’s team), we decided not to go for x, but hit the yellows (9).”

Close contest

The women’s summit clash was keenly fought. Bombalya went ahead 2-1 by winning the first set 26-23 and tying the second 28-each. But, Deepika showed her calibre by clinching the third 26-24. Bombalya shot three 9s to take the fourth at 27-26. The fifth set saw the former World No.1 pull ahead to win 28-26. “The win here will help me prepare better for Rio,” Deepika said.

Confidence booster

For Tarundeep, who is fighting a minor dip in form, the win against his good friend Gurucharan Besra comes at the right time. “It feels good to win, but this is just the beginning. I need to do well in the remaining selection trials to secure a place in the Indian team,” Tarundeep said.

Results:

Recurve - Men's team event: India (Tarundeep Rai, Gurucharan Besra, Jayanta Talukdar) bt Sri Lanka (Nipuna Senevirathne, Indranath, Sajeev De Silva) 5-1.

Women's team event: India (Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi, Laxmirani Majhi) bt Sri Lanka (Dilhara Salgado, Anuradha Karunaratne, Suchini Ubeysiri) 6-0;

Mixed: India (Deepika Kumari, Tarundeep Rai) bt Sri Lanka (Dilhara Salgado, Nipuna Senevirathne) 6-0.