The Indian men’s compound team secured the country’s first gold medal of this season when they beat France 232-230 in the final at the Archery World Cup Stage 1 in Antalya, Turkey, on Saturday.
The team of Rajat Chauhan, Abhishek Verma and Aman Saini showed remarkable composure to overcome a three-point deficit at the halfway stage to go on and win the match.
Later on, Verma paired up with Muskan Kirar but lost the compound mixed team bronze medal match to Croatia 157-156.
The French made a decent start, taking a one point lead - 57-56 - at End 1, and then extended it to three points at End 2 - 116-113.
The Indians then found their rhythm and struck a perfect 60 in End 3 to reduce the margin to just one point, with the French leading 174-173.
They continued in that same vein in End 4, failing to hit a 10 just once in their last six shots of the match to add the pressure on the European side. India scored a near-perfect 59 to France’s 56 in the final End, earning the Indians the gold medal.
Nervy finish ends bronze medal hope
India’s hope for a second medal on the day ended in a nervous finish to the bronze medal match against Croatia.
Kirar hit a 9 in End 1 to give Croatia an early lead.
In End 3, Amanda Mlinaric also hit a 9 to give India a chance to level proceedings, but Verma failed to capitalise, hitting a 9 as well.
In End 4, Mlinaric again struck a 9, but Kirar, under pressure, hit 8.
On Sunday, India’s mixed team pair of Tarundeep Rai and Ridhi Phor will be in action in the gold medal match in the recurve categories.
“Mentally we were really strong today, and we’ve been preparing for this event only and we have the Asian Games coming up this year which is something we also want to do well at,” 24-year-old Saini, who bagged his first World Cup gold, said as per Press Trust of India. “After the gold medal that gives us a great confidence boost especially for the other world cup events, it will hopefully help us.”