India’s top archers Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari battled windy conditions to storm into their respective semi-finals in the recurve section of the Archery World Cup stage 1 in Guatemala on Thursday.
There was, however, heartbreak in the recurve mixed team event as Das and Ankita Bhakat lost in the semifinal against Mexico in a close match that went to a shootoff. The second seeded Indians had earlier defeated Spain 6-0 in the last eight. Das and Bhakat will compete for the bronze medal on Sunday where they will take on top seeds USA.
Defying severe winds at the Sports Complex Los Arcos in Guatemala, Das defeated his Candian rival Eric Peters 6-4 to set up a semi-final clash with Angel Alvarado of Mexico.
Qualified straight to the round of 32 after finishing second in the rankings round, Das defeated Oscar Ticas of El Salvador 6-4 first up before ousting his teammate Pravin Jadhav by an identical scoreline to make the last-four.
Deepika, who qualified as number three seed, downed German archer Michelle Kroppen as she will next face Alejandra Valencia of Mexico in the last four.
Deepika had earlier defeated Kelsey Lard of the USA 6-0 in round two and overcame London Olympics silver medalist, Aida Roman of Mexico, in the shootoff 6-5 (10-9).
Both Das and Kumari are now the highest remaining seeds in their respective individual categories.
However, there was heartbreak in store for Ankita Bhakat as the second seed Indian lost to Alejanra 6-2 in the last eight. Earlier in the men’s category, Dhiraj Bommadevara and Tarundeep Rai lost in the 2nd round.
“I’ve been working for so many years, and I’m finally showing some progression,” Das told the World Archery website after his quarter-final.
“It would be great to win, and to see Deepika do the same,” he added.
The Indian has never been an individual winner on the circuit. His previous best was a fourth-place finish in Antalya in 2016.
“I’m feeling good, because everyone was wondering when the international competition was going to start,” Das said.
“It has started for me, and it is a good start. I’m working on myself, on my mental side and I think this is helping me a lot to perform well,” he added.
Later on Friday, the team events eliminations take place where the Indian men (third seeds) and women (top seeds) will begin their campaign in the quarterfinal stage.
(With PTI inputs)