India’s male archers had a forgettable start to their Tokyo Olympics in the ranking round on Friday morning.
Debutant Pravin Jadhav finished ahead of the experienced Atanu Das and Tarundeep Rai as India managed ninth-place finishes in both the men’s team and mixed team rankings of the Games archery competition at the Yumenoshima Park on Friday.
Jadhav was the highest-ranked India but at the 31st spot, scoring a total of 656 (out of 700) points, Das was placed 35th with 653 points while Tarundeep Rai finished 37th with 652.
The below-par showing means India finished ninth among 29 teams for the mixed team events as well as in the men’s team. This made the draw harder and Indian archers are officially drawn to face Korea in the quarter-finals of all three events, should India reach there.
The Indian mixed team will open its campaign against eighth-ranked Chinese Taipei, and should it overcome the first-round hurdle, top-seed Korea would be waiting in the last-eight. Likewise, the Indian men’s team might run into top-seed Korea, who got a bye into the quarters, should they beat eighth-ranked Kazakhstan in the opening round.
In individual, Pravin Jadhav will be against second seed Brady Ellison of USA while Das has been drawn to face third seed from Korea in second round.
Earlier, World No 9 Atanu Das started off with a round of 58 (out of 60) but could not match up to it in the later rounds.
Jadhav was ahead of Das on number of X counts at the halfway mark where both had scores of 329 before the Maharashtra archer nosed ahead in the final six sets to finish 31st with 656 points out of a maximum 720. Das had a 35th place finish, while former Asian Games silver-medalist Rai, in his third Olympics appearance, took the 37th spot among 64 archers.
Meanwhile, 17-year-old Korean phenomenon Kim Je Deok, who has been labelled as the greatest talent in 100 years, missed the Olympic record by two points en route to topping the men’s ranking round with 688 points, six ahead of world No 1 Brady Ellison.
Ellison, the 2012 Olympic Champion, and 39-year-old veteran Oh Jin Hyek finished third. Hyek’s compatriot Kim Woojin had a fourth place finish as defending champions Korea topped the ranking round in the men’s team event.
Earlier in the day, India’s Deepika Kumari finished ninth overall in the ranking round of the women’s individual archery competition.
Taking Jadhav’s tally into account with Deepika’s 663 in the women’s event, India ranked ninth in the mixed team competition where the country has the best-ever medal hope. However, India could field it’s ‘’power couple’’ Deepika and Das for the mixed pair competition that is set for an Olympics debut on Saturday.
“It’s a team call and the decision has to be made within 45 minutes today,” a World Archery official said.
With PTI Inputs