India loses quarterfinals to World Champion Russia

Indian women's archery team crashed out in the quarterfinals, losing to Russia.

Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhi and Bombayla Devi (not in pic) combined to put India in the quarterfinals of women's team archery event on Sunday.   -  PTI

The Indian women came agonisingly close to knocking out World Champion Russia, but got beaten in the shoot-off 25-23, after being tied 4-4, in the quarterfinals of the archery team championship at the Sambodromo on Sunday.

It was the seventh victory for Russia over India in 12 meetings in the international arena.

The trio of Bombayla Devi, Laxmirani Majhi and Deepika Kumari, who shot arrows in that order, bounced back from losing the first set 48-55 to be ahead 4-2 after the next two sets, winning 53-52 and 53-40.

> Read: South Korea's women extend Olympic reign

In the fourth set, India fought back dramatically in the second half after conceding a three-point lead off the first three arrows. However, after firing two 10s, India missed the chance to seal the match when Deepika shot a 9. A 10 would have clinched it, but it was easier said than done.

With the set scores level at 4-4, the second seeded Russian trio of Tulana Dashidorzhieva, Ksenia Perova and Inna Stepanova pulled through in the shoot-off despite a six with the second arrow.

"We tried our best, but were not lucky. It does hurt us badly," said Deepika Kumari.

Bombayla who led from the front with 52 points out of a possible 60, said that the team with rich expeience would recover quickly and focus on the individual events. She dismissed that the ranking meant anything and that there was chance for everyone to move forward

Dronacharya awardee coach Purnima Mahato was understandably upset about the close defeat, and observed that the team could have started better in the shoot-off.

While the Russians started strong and followed up with arrows of 10, 6 and 9, the Indian girls shot 7, 8 and 8.

AGENCIES ADD

Earlier, India had beaten Colombia in the pre-quarterfinal 5-3 to make it to the last eight stage.

The Indians were not at their best but managed to prevail over an even more erratic Colombian team. The two teams were on even keel at 3-3 after first three sets and the turning point came in the final set.

Needing 28 points with final three arrows to beat India’s set score of 52, Colombian archer Caroline Aguirre committed a harakiri as she lost control and the misdirected arrow fetched her only 3 points, much to the relief of the Indian camp.

The Indians won the set by 52-44, thereby getting the crucial two points for winning the set and taking an unassailable 5-3 lead. However, it wasn’t a great performance as they could hit the perfect 10 only twice — Bombayla in the first set and Deepika in the 3rd set.

Deepika, India’s biggest hope in archery, was not in her elements as she started off poorly hitting a 7 with the final arrow of the first set, which India managed to pip the opposition by a point.

The Jharkhand girl performed no better in the second set hitting a couple of 7s but somewhat found form in the last two sets, where she hit a 10 along with three arrows which fetched her 9 points each.

Bombayla was the most consistent with a single 8 pointer, five shots of 9 points each and a perfect 10.

In the men's section, India's lone competitor is Atanu Das, who had qualified for the final with an impressive overall position of fifth in the qualifying round.