India’s star compound archer Abhishek Verma put up a dazzling display to down Kim Jongho of Korea and bag a bronze medal in the season-ending World Cup Final on Saturday.
Verma partnered with Jyothi Surekha Vennam to clinch a silver in the exhibition compound mixed team event.
Drawn against hosts Turkey in the final, the Indian pair of Jyothi Surekha Vennam lost 152-159.
The final day of the season-ending meet will see Indian ace recurve archer Deepika Kumari, a four-time World Cup Final silver medallist making a seventh appearance.
The Korean, who is the most consistent compound archer to have qualified with the highest average arrow (9.82), led by a point till the third end against Verma in the bonze playoff.
But the Indian archer displayed a super consistent show, shooting 149 out of a possible 150, to edge out the Korean by two points in the fiercely-contested match.
The only blip was a 9 he shot in his second arrow but thereafter he shot all perfect 10sfor a total of 14 from 15 arrows.
“It’s about calming down your nerves and focus on your shooting. Forget about the victories or the medals and focus on the arrow,” Verma said.
Verma had won a silver in his maiden World Cup Final appearance in Mexico City in 2015.
Verma said the arrival of his son Shaurya, who was born in February this year, has proved to be a lucky charm for him.
“It’s good year for me. Every single tournament I’ve a medal this year. My little boy is lucky for me, he was born this year,” Verma who won a silver medal in the Indonesia Asian Games said.
Asked whether he is unhappy about losing out on a maiden gold medal, the 29-year-old Delhi archer said: “There are eight archers in the fray but only one archer can win a gold. But it’s still a medal and I’m happy for it.”
In an event that takes only three wins to seal the coveted World Cup Final gold, Verma started off with promise, ousting defending champion Braden Gellenthien in a 10-9 victory in the shoot-off.
Locked 144-all after four ends, Verma shot two 10s, while his American opponent shot 9-9.
A silver medal in Salt Lake put Verma in place to collect his second Archery World Cup Final berth after he finished runner-up in his debut in Mexico City.
Three years after he was denied the World Cup Final gold, Demir Elmaacacli returned to haunt Verma once again, this time in the semifinals.
Playing at his home turf as a host qualifier, Elmaacacli shattered Verma’s bid for a maiden gold as he won 147-145.