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Satyadev Prasad in second round

August 16, 2004 22:05 IST

India's Satyadev Prasad moved into the second round in the men's individual archery competition, upsetting the higher ranked Yuji Hamano of Japan in the 28th Olympic Games in Athens on Monday.

Prasad won his opening round tie 155-150 but is ranked 48th in the next round.

However, his teammates Majhi Sawaiyan and Tarundeep Rai went down tamely to Wunderle Vic of the United States and Alexandros Karageorgiou of Greece respectively at the Panathinaiko Stadium on Monday.

Twenty-two year-old Indian armyman Sawaiyan lost 128-145 while Rai was beaten 143-147.

It was not easy shooting as arrows flew badly off course and some even missed the target as strong gusts of wind disrupted the first round.

In a sport where the elite expect to fire a handful of perfect 10s on the bull's eye and scores on the outer rings of five or below are rare, total misses are extraordinary.

Fortunately, the 122-cm (48-inch) diameter target is placed on a larger board so that misses do not fly behind the mark.

For added protection at the Panathinaiko Stadium, birthplace of the modern Games, a three-metre high barrier runs the width of the range, blocking any badly stray arrows from reaching the busy road that runs past the open amphitheatre.

Sawaiyan made the worst possible start, missing with his first two shots as he lost to Wunderle, a silver medallist in Sydney four years ago.

"There is some problem with the wind but this is part of the game," said Wunderle.

"The main problem was that wind was coming from different directions and I had to keep adjusting my aim," said Chen Szu-yuan of Taiwan, a first round victor.

"At the same time I think the wind is an advantage as it helps show who the better archer is. Of course, you also need a bit of luck."

SWIRLING WINDS

Similar conditions on Sunday saw the women archers also put on a display of wayward shooting not seen before at an Olympics.

Archers have been bracing for the swirling conditions at the hillside venue, fully aware of Athens' seasonal August winds.

Organisers have said the strong winds are not reason enough to postpone the competition. Only lightning can stop the action.

Magnus Petersson, the Swedish second seed and silver medallist in the men's individual event in Atlanta in 1996 scored a 63-point victory. Third seed Marco Galiazzo of Italy hit 156 out of 180 points to book his place in the round of 32.

Only a few hundred spectators were at the magnificent all-marble stadium for Monday's first round 18-arrow shootout, but the significance of the Olympic homecoming to the 1896 venue was not lost on Wietse van Alten of the Netherlands.

"This historic stadium has given me strength, because it is a great feeling to see the Acropolis next to you," he said after edging Ricardo Merlos of El Salvador by a point.

South Korean top seed Im Dong-hyun, Olympic champion Simon Fairweather of Australia and world champion Michele Frangilli of Italy compete in the afternoon session.


Complete coverage of India's campaign | Athens 2004




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