India’s Jemson Ningthoujam and Ankita Bhakat won the mixed team gold medal in the Archery youth championships in Rosario on Sunday. The pair, who were seeded ninth, beat Russia 6-2 in the final.
The duo won the first two sets with ease to take a 4-0 lead. However, in the third set, Svetlana Gomboeva and Erdem Irdyneev shot 36 points to make it 4-2. The Indians then upped the ante in the fourth to win it 36-33 and in the process seal the match 6-2.
“I was initially feeling a little shaky but I shot very well and we won the gold,” said Bhakat. “Now I’m happy. Our coach tried to encourage us both; he was shouting ‘we have to win’, ‘we have to win’, ‘we have to win’,” Ningthoujam was quoted as saying on World Archery website.
India had beaten top-seeded Korea in the quarter-finals.
Ningthoujam won his second medal, silver, from the recurve junior men’s team event. Along with Shukmani Gajanan Babrekar and Atul Verma, the trio lost to Korea in the final. They were outclassed 6-0 by the Koreans. India also bagged bronze in the compound cadet women’s event. Khushbu Dhayal, Sanchita Tiwari and Divya Dhayal beat Great Britain’s Lucy Mason, Layla Annison and Hollie Smith 212-206.
The mixed team gold is India’s fourth World Archery Champion title across all disciplines. This was India’s first world title at the youth championships since Deepika Kumari’s victories in 2009 and 2011. Kumari won the recurve cadet title in 2009 and recurve junior crown in 2011.
In 2006, Palton Hansda was the first Indian archer to be crowned world champion in the compound junior women’s event.
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