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Asian Games: Archers Verma, Deotale set up all-Indian final

Source: PTI
Last updated on: October 03, 2023 16:04 IST
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IMAGE: World champion Ojas Deotale will clash against team-mate Abhishek Verma in the final of the men's individual compound archery event at the Asian Games. Photograph: SAI Media/X

An exuberant Ojas Deotale set up an all-Indian final against the experienced Abhishek Verma in the men's compound event to confirm the first-ever individual gold medal for the country in archery at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Tuesday.

On a day when the recurve archers ended their campaign in individual sections following the painful exits of Atanu Das and Dhiraj Bommadevara, Deotale, Verma and seasoned Jyothi Surekha Vennam led the charge in compound section to assure India of three medals.

It also matched their best-ever haul of 2014 Asian Games in Incheon where they had won a gold, silver and bronze each.


Seventeen-year-old Aditi Swami, who is the reigning senior world champion, will fight for a bronze after losing to her role model Jyothi in the women's compound individual semi-final.

The Indian archers also remained in the hunt for a podium finish in six more team events -- three each in recurve and compound -- having already advanced into the quarter-finals on Monday.

Reigning world champion Deotale blazed his way to the men's compound individual final with a perfect score of 150 in his four-point win over South Korean seventh-seed Yang Jaewon.

Veteran Verma evicted Korean top-seed Joo Jaehoon with a clinical 147-145 victory to set up an all-Indian gold medal clash and assure the county of a first ever top-two finish at the continental showpiece.

It was the same old story for the recurve archers as none of the Indians managed an Olympic individual quota.

A day after the women's duo of Ankita Bhakat and Bhajan Kaur exited, it was the turn of veteran Das and rising youngster Dhiraj as both endured shoot-off defeats to go out in their respective quarterfinals.

Dhiraj, who shocked double Olympic gold medalist Kim Woojin in the World Cup Final less than a month back, was inconsistent and missed the target twice before losing to Kazakhstan's Ilfat Abdullin 5-6 (30-29, 19-29,28-27, 16-15, 28-28) (9-10).

Enduring a poor start, Das went down to local lad Qi Xiangshuo (23-29, 29-29, 30-28, 29-27, 28-29) (10-10*) in a heartbreaking shoot-off which was also a tie. But Das missed out by a few millimeters as Qi's arrow was closer to the centre.

Fresh from winning the senior World Championship in Berlin two months back, Deotale was up against South Korean seventh-seed Yang Jaewon. But the 21-year-old Indian did not give his rival any chance, hitting all perfect 10s from 15 arrows.

Seven of Deotale's 15 perfect 10s were closer to the centre as the Indian youngster celebrated his thumping 150-146 win by waving to the crowd.

He will face 34-year-old Verma, who will be looking to upgrade his 2014 silver medal in what appears to be his last Asian Games.

IMAGE: Jyothi Surekha Vennam, left, beat team-mate Aditi Swami in the semis to advance to the gold medal clash in the women's compound archery event at the Asian Games. Photograph: Team India/X

Jyothi used all her experience to prevail over her younger teammate Aditi.

Eyeing her first individual gold at the Asian Games, the 27-year-old multiple World Cup medallist will face So Chaewon of South Korea in the final.

Jyothi has never won a gold medal at the Asian Games. She has one silver (2018) and a bronze (2014), both coming in team events. Aditi, on the other hand, will fight for the bronze medal against Ratih Zilizati Fadhly of Indonesia.

Leading by one-point after four ends, 17-year-old Aditi misfired an arrow into the seven-point ring in the final round to gift a 149-146 win to Jyothi. It was a big relief for Jyothi, who had lost to Aditi in the World Championships in Berlin in August this year.

Both of them shot 60 out of 60 in their first six arrows, before Jyothi slipped a bit in the third end by dropping a point.

Aditi kept shooting in the 10-ring at ease before she slipped in the final end which cost her the match.

Earlier in the day, 2014 Games silver medallist Verma overcame a late challenge from Kazakhstan's Andrey Tyutyun to win an intense shoot-off and enter the semi-final.

Leading 60-57 after two ends, Verma slipped as his Kazakh rival bounced back to level 147-147 and forced a shoot-off.

Both the archers shot a 10, but the Indian was adjudged the winner -- 147-147 (10*-10) -- as his arrow was closer to the centre.

Current world champion Deotale, on the other hand, shot an incredible 150 out of 150 to breeze past Akbarali Karbayev of Kazakhstan in the last-eight round.

Fourth seeded Aditi dropped just one point from 15 arrows to eliminate Amaya Amparo Cojuangco of Philippines 149-146 in the quarter-finals, while Jyothi ousted ninth seed Adel Zhexenbinova of Kazakhstan 147-144.

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