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Tokyo Olympics: Indian archery misses arrows and medals

Indian archers showed glimpses of magic but concluded their campaign at Tokyo Olympics with no medals.

Tokyo Olympics: Indian archery misses arrows and medals

Nilesh Sharma

Updated: 31 July 2021 8:54 AM GMT

Indian archers came to Tokyo Olympics high on confidence and momentum.

Team: Deepika Kumari, Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav, Tarundeep Rai.
Announced on 8th March, the Indian contingent qualified for men's and women's individual and men's Team events. At the same time, the women's team failed to make the cut, the first time since the 2004 Athens Games. India reached as far as QF in Rio 2016 when the women's team of Deepika Kumari, Bombalya Devi, and Laxmirani Manjhi fell against Russia in a tussle. With astounding performances, particularly from Deepika at the world stage tournaments, Tokyo promised a medal.
Let's have a look at how the archers performed:

Mixed Team Event

Rio 2016: N/A
Tokyo 2020 Ranking Round: 9th
Tokyo 2020 Final Result: QF lost to Korea 2-6
The Mixed Team event marked its debut at the Tokyo Olympics.
The husband-wife duo of Deepika and Atanu Das won the mixed team event in Paris World Stage 3. Their chemistry and understanding of each other's game made this event the best bet for a medal.
The rankings round, however, derailed this plan. With a score of 653, Atanu could only manage the 35th position while the debutant Pravin Jadhav ranked 31st; this meant India paired Deepika with Pravin.
The Indian duo defeated #8 seeds Chinese Taipei 5-3, where Pravin delivered under pressure in a close match.
The quarterfinals presented a stern test against #1 seeds Korea and India crumbled 2-6. A win here would have allowed them to contest for at least a Bronze

Women's Individual:

Deepika Kumari, India's ace archer and the lone Indian woman to qualify for the games, looked strong as World Number 1. Having won 3 Gold medals from World Stage 3 in Paris just a month ago, there were high expectations from her.
Rio 2016: Round of 16
Tokyo 2020 Ranking Round: 9th
Tokyo 2020 Final Result: QF lost to An San (KOR) 0-6
With a disappointing performance in the ranking round, Deepika was handed a tough draw. She, however, kept her calm to edge out Karma (BHU) 6-0, Mucino Fernandez (USA) 6-4 and Rio Team Silver medalist Perova (ROC) 6-5 in an exhilarating shoot off.
Deepika Kumari during her match in Tokyo (Source: World Archery)
Marching in the QF, Deepika had already marked her best ever Olympic Individual performance for India; the road ahead, however, was too steep. Deepika had a Deja Vu against #1 seed and World Record holder An San (KOR) as she crumbled to a 6-0 defeat, a repeat of the Tokyo test event in 2019.

Men's Individual:

Atanu Das
Rio 2016: Round of 16
Tokyo 2020 Ranking Round: 35th
Tokyo 2020 Final Result: Round of 16, lost to Furukawa (JPN) 4-6
Atanu, the highest-ranked Indian man, recently won his first Gold at World Stage 3 Paris, disappointed millions with a low ranking round score. But he was quick to make amends in the main draw.
Atanu scored back-to-back upsets as he defeated Deng Y (TPE) 6-4 and then defending Champion and #1 seed Oh Jinhyek (KOR) 6-5, scoring a perfect arrow in the shoot out.
In the R16, Atanu found himself facing another archery legend, London 2012 Silver medalist Takaharu Furukawa (JPN). While the Japanese stuck to the ''golden circle', Atanu landed a couple of week arrows which weren't enough, and he went down fighting 6-4.
Pravin Jadhav
Rio 2016: Didn't Participate
Tokyo 2020 Ranking Round: 31st
Tokyo 2020 Final Result: Round of 32, lost to Ellison Brady (USA) 0-6

The debutant impressed everybody with his steady shooting in the Mixed Team event when he was least expected to. The Individuals was another story when he was sent packing by the #2 seed and Rio Bronze medalist Ellison Brady (USA) in a lop-sided affair.
Tarundeep Rai:
Rio 2016: Didn't Participate
Tokyo 2020 Ranking Round: 37th
Tokyo 2020 Final Result: Round of 32, lost to Shanny (ISR) 5-6
It was the veteran's third appearance at the Olympics, and was expected to bring the experience to anchor his compatriots. While Tarundeep looked better than the ranking round, multiple arrows to the red zone just weren't enough as he went down to the Israeli in the shoot-off after leading most part of the match.

Men's Team

Rio: Didn't Participate
Tokyo Ranking Round: 9th
Tokyo Final Result: QF, lost to Korea 2-6
Indian Men's Team made their comeback to the Games after missing Rio and fielded a good combination of experience and young talent.
They shot consistently to upset #8 seeds Chinese Taipei 5-3 in Round of 16, but the cursed ranking of 9th pit them against the reigning champions Korea once again.
The #1 seeds and favorites to Gold Korea justified the hype as they barely missed the "golden zone" leaving very little margin for the Indians.
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