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Dola Banerjee wins gold in archery World Cup finals
Agencies | November 24, 2007 23:37 IST
Dola Banerjee created history when she claimed the gold medal in the women's individual recurve competition at the archery World Cup finals in Dubai on Saturday.
The Indian archer beat Eun Young Choi of Korea 110-109 in the final. She earlier got the better of Russia's [Images] Natalya Erdyniyeva 108-106 to advance to the title round.
Choi had beaten China's Juan Juan Zhang 114-105 to enter the final.
The Russian archer defeated Zhang 106-103 to win the bronze medal.
This is the first time an Indian claimed the coveted title. It should serve as a morale booster for Dola, the lone Indian in the fray, and the national archery contingent that is preparing for next year's Beijing [Images] Olympics [Images].
The Korean had a slender one-point lead in the final after shooting nine in the 12-arrow contest, and all she had to do was stay cool. But she shot seven, nine and eight on her last three visits while the Indian had efforts of eight and two nines to clinch the contest 110-109.
"I was confident, but at the same time I was a bit surprised she managed only a eight on her last visit. I thought she would go for a 10 and take the gold," Banerjee said later.
"The best thing I did was that I did not put myself under any sort of pressure. That gave me the confidence to shoot freely," added the Arjuna awardee.
The World Cup finals followed four legs of competition in Ulsan (South Korea), Varese (Italy [Images]), Antalya (Turkey). and Dover (England [Images]). Dola logged 12 points from the Ulsan leg and missed the second and third legs.
She won the gold medal in the fourth leg at Dover, where she beat Zhang 111-110 and earned 25 points, to cement a place in the finals, which is contested between the winners of the four World Cups.
Overall she aggregated 37 points -- 25 from Dover and 12 from the Ulsan leg. .
India's Jayanta Talukdar had reached the World Cup finals in the men's individual recurve competition last year and finished fourth.