India’s Atanu Das, Dhiraj Bommadevara and Tarundeep Rai won the recurve team silver medal at the Archery World Cup Stage 1 on Sunday in Antalya, Turkey.
In the individual event later in the day, Dhiraj made it a memorable day by clinching the bronze medal to mark a memorable week in Antalya for him. He had earlier stunned USA’s Brady Ellison in the round of 16.
Earlier in the day, the Indian team lost 4-5 in a thrilling final against the Chinese team of Li Zhongyuan, Qi Xiangshuo and Wei Shaoxuan.
The trio started the match with a solid 54 in the first set but the Chinese went one point better. The second set saw an erratic set of arrows from the Indians as they lost it 50-56 and went down 0-4 on the scoreboard. They were effectively an arrow away from losing in the third set but a sensational 59 saw them edge China by a point in a high-scoring set.
In the fourth set, China were again a 9 away from a win but an 8 meant the Indians prevailed for another two points. It took the final to a three-arrow shoot-off. While the Indians and Chinese both shot 29, China had a X that was closest to the center.
The Indian men’s recurve team had produced a solid run of results on Thursday to reach the gold medal match. After a shoot-off win against Japan in the second round and a 6-2 win against Chinese Taipei in the quarter-finals, the team reached the semi-final where they took on the Netherlands. The Dutch had eliminated top seeds Turkey (who had Olympic champion Mete Gazoz) in the quarter-final.
But after dropping the opening set in the semi-final, the Indians bounced back against the Netherlands to win the tie 6-2 and seal their place on the podium.
Das, who missed the cut for the Indian team last year, made it to the squad after finishing second in the recurve trials held in Sonepat, Haryana in February. He led the charge in the qualification for recurve, earning the fourth seeding overall.
Individual bronze for Dhiraj
Later in the day, Dhiraj lost out in the semi-final against Dan Olaru despite taking a 4-0 lead. The Moldovan, who is the highest remaining seed in a field that saw many upsets, bounced back to win the semifinal 6-4 with a fine comeback. But the 21-year-old from India recovered quickly enough to win the bronze medal match against Ilfat Abdullin of Kazakhstan.
After splitting the first set, the Indian moved ahead 3-1 but Ilfat fought back to level things up. That is when Dhiraj found his best form again, finishing with two superb sets of 29 and taking the bronze.
Dhiraj's run to bronze medal
|1/64||CARBONETTI Theo BEL - Belgium||6-0|
|1/32||CHABIN Keziah SUI - Switzerland||6-4|
|1/16||RAVNIKAR Ziga SLO - Slovenia||6-4|
|1/8||ELLISON Brady USA - USA||6-5|
|1/4||RAI Tarundeep IND - India||6-4|
|1/2||OLARU Dan MDA - Moldova||4-6|
|Bronze||ABDULLIN Ilfat KAZ - Kazakhstan||7-3|
In recurve men’s individual elimination rounds, Dhiraj had earlier reached the semifinal to keep his brilliant run going into the weekend. After a comeback from 0-4 down in the round of 32, he registered a huge upset in the round of 16 against USA superstar Brady Ellison. In the quarterfinal, he defeated compatriot Tarundeep Rai to be part of the Final Four and have a shot at earning a first individual World Cup stage medal.
No other Indian made it to the final four in the individual recurve events.
On Saturday, in the compound finals, Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Ojas Pravin Deotale won mixed team gold while Jyothi also won the individual gold.
India finished the event with two gold medals in compound events, to go with a silver and bronze in recurve events.