India’s Deepika Kumari finished ninth overall in the ranking round of the women’s individual archery competition at the Olympic Games with a total score of 663 in Tokyo on Friday.
The world No 1 will face Karma from Bhutan in the round of 64 and will be in line for a potential quarter-final match against top seed An San from Korea who set a new Olympic record. The Koreans dominated once again and just as in Rio 2016, swept the top three spots.
A 7 in the final shot saw Kumari slide down by a couple of spots. While overall, it was a solid show by the Indian, the stray 7s cost her though. At the halfway mark (after 6 rounds), she was in the fourth position but things didn’t quite go exactly to plan in the second half.
She had three relatively poor rounds (53, 53, 54) and that saw her slide down the rankings.
She had just one 7 in the first half but three more in the second half – these are shots that she would want to avoid when the actual KO rounds begin.
“I want to show my best performance here, and I’ll shoot it 100% in the next round,” Kumari was quoted as saying by World Archery after. “It’s good [to be here] but, at the same time, I just want to succeed.”
“The performance was good and bad, a little in between I would say. I don’t why I wasn’t too good, but I’m planning to control my stuff so that I can play with it.”
The Korean archers, who are the favourites in the women’s event, shattered previous Olympic record score in the individual ranking round was 673, while the world record (692) is held by Kang Chae Wong, the world No 3 who finished third with 675 points for a Korean top-three in the qualification round. Jang Minhee (677) finished second.
The top four finishers all went better than the existing Olympic record of 673 set by Lina Herasimenko, Ukraine (1996) so there was some high quality on display. But perhaps also a sign that the conditions weren’t particularly windy.
The results today will be used to seed the athletes and nations for the individual, mixed team and team competitions, effectively deciding their opponents in the competition.
The men’s ranking event will now determine if India makes the cut for the mixed team where to 16 qualify based on the scores of the top male and female archer.
Archers shoot 72 arrows at the target set 70 metres away, in 12 series of six arrows. They are ranked from highest to lowest at the end of the round. An archer’s position after the ranking round becomes their seeding for matchplay.
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