Kolkata: The Indian trio of Deepika Kumari, Laishram Bombayla Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro settled for a silver medal after losing the recurve event final to their Italian opponents in the Archery World Championship at Turin on Sunday.
It was a heartbreak for the Indian trio, playing their first final at this level, as they had a one-point lead at half-way stage but evetuyally lost 207-210.
The former world champions took charge as the Indians succumbed to the pressure.
The presence of Deepika, the reigning world cadet individual champion, did not inspire the Indians as they shot a very poor third end for a score of 50 points out of 60.
The Italians turned the table on their rivals with a fine round of 55 that gave them four-point cushion that stood the team well.
The Indians had the best round of 54 in the final end yet the team fell short by three points as the Italians celebrated the world title.
The Indians shooting order was: Deepika, Chekrovolu and Bombayla.
Italy won silver at Beijing 2001 and won the world title in 1999 in Riom, France. They had met the Indians seven times before with a 4-3 record on the head to head clash.
The last two encounters were in favour of the Italians, with wins at the Porec 2010 and Shanghai 2009 World Cup.
The only positive the Indians carried into the final was their dramatic semifinal victory over World champions and favourites Korea.
The shots by the six competitors were not as fluent as usual. After the first end, the scores for each team were quite low, 51-50 for the Indians.
The first 10 by the Italians was scored at their tenth shot. But with two arrows out of the yellow in the second end, they still trailed 102-103 at the half-way mark.
After two opening 8s by Guendalina Sartori and Jessica Tomasi to start the third end, the former world champion Natalia Valeeva showed the way to her teammates with a perfect 10.
The Italians were back on track with 10-9-10 after that. As the Indians only had a 50-point series at that time, the local team reversed the score to lead 157-153.Tension was at its high in the last end.
Before the last three arrows, the Indian team came back to three points and even two points after the Italian Sartori scored an 8.
The last but one arrow was a 9 for each team and the gap remained.
As Bombayla finished with another 9 for her team, Valeeva needed an 8 to win.
The experienced Italian had a perfect 10 to give gold to Italy.