Indian archers endured a poor qualifying round in the recurve event at the World Cup Stage 3 in Paris on Wednesday, as world No 3 Deepika Kumari qualified in 37th place.
Making her comeback after the Tokyo Olympics, Kumari shot 638 from her 72 arrows in tricky windy conditions. World No 25 Ankita Bhakat shot a score of 644 to qualify 31st while Simranjeet Kaur and Ridhi qualified in 38 and 54 respectively.
Due to her low seeding, Deepika faces a tough draw with a potential face-off against world No 13 and 2016 Rio Olympics gold medallist Choi Misun in the second round.
Bhakat, if she gets past the Netherlands’ Laura van der Winkel in the first round, will face Tokyo Olympics gold medallist and world No 9 Kang Chae Young in the second round.
The women’s recurve team, ranked fourth in the world, qualified in 13th place. Having recieved a bye in the first round, India will face world No 16 and fourth seeds Ukraine in the second round.
In the men’s recurve event, Tarundeep Rai, Pravin Jadhav and Jayanta Talukdar won their respective first round matches while Neeraj Chauhan was knocked out.
The eighth-seeded men’s team received a bye in the first round and will face the winners of the match between Switzerland and Poland.
Bhakat and Rai, India’s best-placed archers in the individual qualifiers, will team up in the mixed team event where they will face off against Kazakhstan with a formidable Chinese Taipei team potentialy awaiting them in the second round.
Earlier in the day, the women’s compound archery team of Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Priya Gurjar and Muskan Kirar lost a closely-fought semi-final 228-231 to Britain.
Further heartbreak awaited India as the trio then lost in the bronze medal match to France.
The men’s compound team of Abhishek Verma, Mohan Bhardwaj and Aman Sain lost by a single point to Turkey in the quarter-final.
The men’s, women’s and mixed recurve teams will be in action in the first half of Thursday while the individual events in the compound event will get underway in the evening.