India’s recurve mixed team of Ridhi and Tarundeep Rai combined brilliantly to win the gold medal at the Archery World Cup in Antalya.
Their opponents from Great Britain, Bryony Pitman and Alex Wise started the match better and took the first set 37-35.
But the India pair started to find their mark in the second set and took it 36-33 to even the scores at two set points apiece.
The third set was probably the best of the lot with both teams putting their best foot forward. India started off with a 9 and a 10. GB responded to two 10s and then both teams short perfectly in the final rounds too. GB won the set 40-39.
India, though, were far from done and they carried the momentum into the fourth set to take it 38-37. With both teams tied on 4-4, the final went into the shoot-off.
Ridhi and Tarundeep, who were pairing up for the first time, held their nerve to take the shoot-off 18-17 and clinched the gold medal for India.
“I was feeling so excited before the match,” said the 38-year-old Rai who had only ever won one World Cup stage, back in 2010. “This was the first time we have been paired together, she’s just 17 years old and has a bright future. It’s been a great experience with her and I wish every time we shoot, the Indian team will win gold.”
Rai added: “Winning a World Cup title is a kind of milestone and this experience will really help us to win a medal in the Asian Games.”
For Ridhi, she did not underestimate the momentous occasion in her young career.
“It’s not even the first time I’m playing in a final venue, I’m playing my first World Cup,” she said. “I was so very excited to play here at the final venue and we can say that this was my best performance ever in a senior tournament.”
A detailed look at each set follows: