India's top archer Deepika Kumari came tantalisingly close to winning the World Cup final before she went down to Olympic double gold medallist Bo Bae Ki to settle for a silver in the recurve women's individual event at Hibiya Park in Tokyo on Sunday.
According to sources, Deepika, in her first appearance after the London Olympics debacle, was in splendid form as she won the quarter-finals and semi-finals to lead 4-0 in the final before she lost 4-6 ((26-23, 27-25, 24-28, 23-26, 25-26).
Down 0-4, the Korean bounced back winning the remaining three sets to grab the gold and thus capping a stunning year that saw her win the individual and team titles in London two month ago.
Having slipped to World No 2 following her London setback, Deepika, who was given the top billing in the coveted meet, won the first two sets 26-23 and 27-25 to lead 4-0.
Ki came back strong in the third set with a 9-9-10, better than the 9-8-7 of Deepika in a rain-affected match. But Ki managed to bring the match on an even keel, winning the fourth set 8-10-8 to 8-8-7.
Deepika had a ray of hope in the fifth set with a 9 against Ki's 8.
In the second set of arrows, both hit 9 as Deepika had a one-point advantage and needed a perfect 10 to settle the issue. But the teenager lost the battle of nerves hitting a 7 compared to Ki's 9 to settle for a silver for two consecutive editions.
Earlier in the day, Deepika had beaten Miki Kanie of Japan 25-23, 26-26, 29-24, 27-24, overall 7-1, in another rain-marred quarter-final battle.
In the semis too, the Ranchi girl was in her elements as she beat Jennifer Nichols of the USA 6-2 (28-24, 25-26, 26-25, 28-27).
Dola Banerjee is the only Indian who has won a World Cup final in Dubai in 2007 where the field had only four archers.