Abhishek Verma stormed into the men’s compound archery semifinals at the World Games in Birmingham, Alabama stunning world No 1 and former world champion Mike Schloesser in the quarterfinal.
Verma also reached the bronze medal match in the mixed team event with Jyothi Surekha Vennam.
The 33-year-old Verma qualified in ninth place after shooting 707, six points behind top seed Schloesser. Verma beat American Ben Thompson in the first round to set up a second round clash against Estonian Robin Jaatma.
In a close match, the two archers shot perfect 30s in the first three ends before Verma shot 29 to Jaatma’s 30 in the fourth end. However, Verma remained calm under pressure to shoot two bullseyes and a 10 in the final end even as Jaatma shot 28 to give the Indian a 149-148 win.
In the quarter-final, Verma came up against ‘Mr Perfect’ Schloesser who had shot, living up to his nickname, a perfect 150 in his second-round win over Kim Taeyoon. However, the Dutch world No 1 shot a nine in his first end to go with two Xs as Verma shot a perfect 30.
In a match with high-quality shooting, Verma shot two 30s either side of shooting a 29 in the third end as Schloesser racked 30s after 30s to force a shoot out after a brilliant 149-149 tie. Both archers shot 10s in the one-arrow shootoff but Verma won the match as his arrow was the closest to the centre.
In the semifinal, Verma will play French fourth seed Jean Philippe Boulch who beat India’s Aman Saini in the second round.
Verma and Vennam qualified as top seeds in the eight-team mixed team event and beat New Zealand in the quarterfinal. The Indian pair, however, lost a close semifinal match to Colombia 159-157.
The pair will take on the Mexican team of Andrea and Miguel Becerra.
In the women’s compound event, Vennam and Muskan Kirar bowed out in the quarterfinals. Vennam and Kirar received a bye in the first round after qualifying sixth and seventh respectively and won their second round matches.
In a close quarterfinal match, Vennam squandered a one-point lead by shooting 28 in the fourth end to give Slovenian Toja Ellison a 149-148 win. Kirar also exited at the quarterfinal stage losing to Colombian second seed, and compound archery legend, Sara Lopez 148-143.