It was a successful outing on Saturday for India at the Archery World Cup Stage 3 after Jyothi Surekha Vennam won gold in the archery compound mixed team event with Abhishek Verma before winning silver in the individual event.
India won their first medal at the event in Paris after Vennam and Verma beat the French pair of Sophie Dodemont and Jean Philippe Boulch 152-149 in the final.
Vennam won silver later in the day after finishing second in the final against Britain’s Ella Gibson in a tense shootout. The silver is Vennam’s first World Cup Stage medal in an individual event.
Here’s a look at the winning moments:
Up against vocal home crowd, India got off to the perfect start shooting all four arrows for 10 in the first end. Put under pressure, the French duo shot three 9s and a 10 as India led after the first end.
However, the Indian pair faltered in the second end with Verma shooting an 8 as France took the second end 38-36 to cut India’s lead to one.
Dodemont and Boulch carried the momentum into the third end with both shooting Xs with their first arrows followed by a 9 and a 10. Not ones to buckle under pressure, Vennam and Verma responded with identical scores as the third end finished 39-39 with India leading 115-114.
France needed all 10s in the final end to have a chance of winning but did not get the best start. Two French 9s reduced some of the pressure on India. Verma responded with a perfect 10 and was followed up by a 9 from Vennam as India led 134 to 132 with two arrows to shoot each.
Needing nothing less than perfect 10s, Boulch and Dodemont shot 17 combined to finish with 149. Verma and Vennam needed to shoot 16 or more to clinch gold and the pair delivered clinching India’s first medal at the World Cup.
Vennam, playing for the first time since the Tokyo Olympics last year, said, “This win means a lot especially after my break.”
Verma also expressed his delight at winning gold medal in Paris. It is his second mixed team medal medal of the World Cup season after winning bronze in Gwangju with Avneet Kaur.
“I feel very very happy,” he was quoted as saying by World Archery. “This is the fourth World Cup that I have won a gold medal. Last year in Paris I became champion and after this season we won gold and we are very happy about it.”
“Jyothi is a very strong partner. I feel very confident with my partner and I trust her completely because we have played together for a very long time and I think we did well.”
Vennam found herself up against Dodemont once again when she was back on the field for her individual semifinal.
Despite a light drizzle and overcast conditions, Vennam secured her place in the final with a 147-145 win.
The top-seeded Gibson had secured her spot in the final dropping just two points in her semifinal win over Luxemburg’s Mariya Shkolna, and the Brit was in ominous form all week having gone close to the world record in qualification.
Gibson and Vennam matched each other shot to shot in the first end with the Indian securing 30 by milimiters with her final arrow. Even as the 21-year-old Brit racked Xs, Vennam kept pace shooting 10s.
The first 9 of the match came from Vennam in the third end giving Gibson a one-point lead going into the fourth end. The fourth end saw Vennnam drop another point as did Gibson with the score 119-118 to Gibson.
Shooting first in the fifth end, Vennam began with an X which was followed by Gibson dropping another point. Vennam shot back-to-back 10s with her final two arrows. Gibson stayed clutch to shoot a 10 with her final arrow to force a shootout whereas a 9 then would have given India their elusive individual gold.
In the one-arrow shootout, Gibson just about found the edge of the X circle. Needing to find the inner circle, Vennam shot a 10 but further away from the center than Gibson’s.
The women’s recurve team of Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat and Simranjeet Kaur will play in the gold medal match against Chinese Taipei on Sunday. No individual recurve archer is in action on the final day of this World Cup.