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Archery

Indian women's archery team face setback in Olympic qualifiers, still hopeful for quota

The Indian women's recurve archery team faced a setback in Olympic qualifiers but remain hopeful for a Paris spot through world rankings.

Archery world cup stage 3 deepika ankita simranjeet
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The Indian women's recurve archery team at the Paris World Cup Stage 3 event (Source: Twitter/AAI)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 14 Jun 2024 12:49 PM GMT

The Indian women's recurve archery team, comprising Deepika Kumari, Bhajan Kaur, and Ankita Bhakat, faced a disappointing 3-5 loss to Ukraine in the pre-quarterfinals of the Final Olympic Qualifier on Friday.

Despite being ranked significantly higher, the Indian team faltered under pressure, jeopardizing their direct qualification for the Paris Olympics.

Entering the competition as the fifth seed, India received a bye into the pre-quarterfinals and needed two victories in the elimination rounds to secure a team quota place for the Olympics. However, their hopes were dashed as the lower-ranked Ukrainian team staged a comeback after trailing 1-3, ultimately winning the match with scores of 51-51, 52-55, 54-53, 54-52.

The Indian team’s inexperience was evident, particularly with Bhajan Kaur and Ankita Bhakat losing their composure during critical moments. In the first set, both archers shot arrows into the seven-point ring, resulting in a tie.

Although India regained momentum in the second set, scoring consistently before Deepika Kumari’s perfect 10 clinched it for them, the third set saw another drop in performance with Bhajan’s arrow landing in the seven-point ring again, allowing Ukraine to level the score.

In the decisive fourth set, India needed at least a draw to force a shoot-off. However, mistakes crept in again, with both Bhajan and Deepika shooting arrows into the eight-point ring. This lapse allowed Ukraine’s Veronika Marchenko, Anastasia Pavlova, and Olha Chebotarenko to edge India by two points and secure their place in the quarterfinals.

Despite the setback, the Indian women's recurve team still has a path to the Paris Olympics through world rankings. According to a recent amendment in the qualification rules, the top two nations in the World Archery Rankings that have not secured a quota through the qualifiers will be granted a spot.

Currently ranked eighth globally, the Indian team stands a good chance. South Korea, Germany, France, Mexico, and the USA, all ranked above India, have already secured their Olympic berths.

This leaves China and Chinese Taipei, ranked second and seventh respectively, as the main competitors. Both teams are one win away from securing their Olympic spots, which would clear the way for India to qualify based on their ranking.

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