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India's archers stumble: Women lose Olympic qualifier

Source: PTI
Last updated on: June 15, 2024 00:35 IST
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India women archers loss to Ukraine in Final Olympic qualifier, rely on rankings for Paris Olympics quota.

IMAGE: Deepika Kumari in action during the Archery World Cup in Yecheon. Photograph: World Archery/Instagram

The Indian women's recurve team of Deepika Kumari, Bhajan Kaur and Ankita Bhakat squandered their lead to suffer a shock 3-5 loss to lower-ranked Ukraine in the pre-quarterfinals of the Final Olympic Qualifier in Antalya, Turkey on Friday.

Having qualified as fifth seed, India got a bye into the pre-quarters and needed two wins in the elimination round to seal the Paris Olympic team quota place.

The four semi-finalists in the women's recurve section get team quotas.

But World No. 8 India, who are 10 notches above Ukraine in the global rankings, put up an atrocious display to blow away a 3-1 lead and went down 3-5 (51-51, 55-52, 53-54, 52-54).

The inexperience of Bhajan and Ankita cost India dearly as the duo lost composure and shot in the seven-point red ring once each in the drawn first set.


India managed to bounce back with a superior second set where all of them shot nine each before Deepika landed a perfect 10 to take the second set.

But in the third set, Bhajan once again dropped her arrow to the seven-point ring that helped Ukraine level three-all going into the fourth set.

India needed a draw in the fourth set to take the match to shoot-off, but this time they shot twice in the eight-point red ring -- one each by Bhajan and Deepika -- as Veronika Marchenko, Anastasia Pavlova and Olha Chebotarenko edged them out by two points and seal their quarters berth.

The men's team qualifying event will be held on Saturday and will see stiff competition among 46 teams for just three available quotas.

The individual quota competition will be on Sunday.

More than 300 recurve archers from 80-plus nations are competing in the final qualifying event for the Paris Olympics, starting on July 26.

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Paris Olympics 2024

Paris Olympics 2024