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Asian Games

Asian Games: Indian archers pip South Korea to top medal tally for the 1st time

For the first time in the history of the Asian Games, India topped the archery medal tally with nine medals and pipped South Korea, who won the pole positions for the ten editions in a row.

Asian Games: Indian archers pip South Korea to top medal tally for the 1st time

Sudipta Biswas

Updated: 7 Oct 2023 12:51 PM GMT

The calm and composed demeanours of archers coalescing with their skills and control over bow and arrow propelled India to a historic best at the Asian Games.

Indian archers wrapped up the Games with their best-ever performance and staggering nine medals, including five gold medals and a clean sweep in all five compound archery events - both team and individual categories.

With this outstanding performance, India also edged out powerhouse South Korea from the pole position, winning one more gold than the Koreans, completing their ascendency in the continental showpiece. Korea, who topped the archery medal tally for ten editions in a row, lost the lead for the first time.

Korea won 11 medals but slipped to the second position for losing the women's compound individual event to India's Jyothi Surekha Vennam, the queen of India's archery team, on Saturday.

In the Indian archery team, the standout performers were Jyothi and Ojas Pravin Deotale - leading the Indian men's and women's compound team with distinction. They both scripted a hat-trick of gold medals.

On Saturday, their fiery form culminated, with Jyothi holding her concentration in a match undecided till the last arrow to beat South Korea So Chaewon and clinch the women's compound 50m gold. Ojas, meanwhile, edged his compatriot Abhishek Verma to seal his dominance over the men's compound field.

Jyothi defeated Chaewon 149-145, hitting a perfect 10 in her last arrow, while Ojas won 149-147 to force Abhishek. But in the men's compound individual event, India grabbed both the gold and silver medals.

17-year-old Aditi Gopichand Swami, the youngest member of the team, meanwhile, reinstated her World Championships title-winning display in August with team gold and an individual bronze.

Aditi, despite playing her maiden Asian Games at such a young age, showed her character and determination by winning the third-place playoff against Indonesia's Ratih Zilizati Fadhly in a lopsided contest. Aditi won the match 146-140.

Though Aditi lost to Jyothi 146-149 in the all-Indian semifinal on Tuesday, she played a pivotal role in the Indian women's compound team's gold medal-winning display, teaming up with Jyothi and Parneet Kaur. The trio edged out Chinese Taipei 230-229 in a nail-biting contest.

In the mixed team compound archery final, Jyothi paired up with Ojas and defeated South Korea's So Chaewon and Jaehoon Joo 159-158 in a closely fought match to clinch the gold medal.

Ojas, meanwhile, was at the centre of the Indian men's compound team's dominating win over South Korea in the gold medal match. Teaming up with Abhishek and Prathamesh Samadhan Jawkar, Ojas defeated Korea 235-230.

The Maharashtra archer would later pair up with Jyothi to win the compound mixed team gold and ensure India's historic clean sweep in the compound archery events.

While compound archers dominated the show, India's performance in recurve events, which are part of the Olympics, however, is not outstanding. India won two medals in the recurve events. The men's recurve team of Atanu Das, Dhiraj Bommadevara, and Tushar Shelke won the silver medal after losing the final 1-5 against South Korea.

The women's team, comprising Ankita Bhakat, Simranjeet Kaur, and Bhajan Kaur, won a bronze medal.

Indian compound archers, however, will bask in the glory for their historic performance at the Asian Games 2023.

Archery medals at the Asian Games 2023:

Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Ojas Pravin Deotale - Gold - Mixed team compound

Aditi Swami, Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Parneet Kaur - Gold - Women's team compound

Abhishek Verma, Ojas Pravin Deotale, and Prathamesh Jawkar - Gold - Men's team compound

Jyothi Surekha - Gold - Women compound individual

Ojas Pravin Deotale - Gold - Men compound individual

Atanu Das, Dhiraj Bommadevara and Tushar Shelke - Silver - Men's recurve team

Abhishek Verma - Silver - Men compound individual

Ankita Bhakat, Bhajan Kaur, and Simranjeet Kaur - Bronze - Women's team recurve

Aditi Swami - Bronze - Women compound individual

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