Olympics 2012: Deepika`s show only silver lining for Indian archery
London: India`s ace archer Deepika Kumari was eighth overall with 662 points to lead the women`s team to the ninth (1,938 points) place after the male archers came up with a dismal show in both the team and individual ranking round on day one at the 30th Olympic Games here Friday.
World No.1 Deepika recovered from an ordinary round with the first 36 arrows to keep her arrows on target in the second half where she returned the second best score at the historic Lord`s ground.
In the first half, she logged only 327 to be way behind in the 18th position, but improved her position vastly collecting 335 in the latter half to bring some hope to the Indian camp in the afternoon session after the men finished a poor 12th in the morning team event.
Laishram Bombayla Devi finished 22nd overall with 650 and Chekrovolu Swuro was 50th with 625. Korea topped the team event with 1993 points followed by the US and Chinese Taipei at 1979 and 1976 respectively
The Indian eves would lock horns in the pre-quarters with Denmark which finished eighth with 1946.
India, ranked World No.2, will clash with Korea in the quarterfinals if it gets past the Scandinavian nation. World No. 1 Italy ended 10th, one slot behind India with 1,937.
Individually, Deepika`s first round opponent is likely to be Amy Oliver of Britain and Bombayla may face Evangelia Psarra of Greece. Chekrovolu Swuro is likely to draw Jennifer Nichols of the US.
In an anti-climax to the pre-competition hype, Indian archery hit a new low as the combination of Rahul Banerjee, Tarundeep Rai and Jayanta Talukdar, ranked third in the world, totalled a pathetic 1,969 points to take the 12th and last spot among 20 teams and would be pitted against fifth-ranked Japan in the pre-quarters. The two teams had clashed in the Ogden Olympic qualifying match where India lost.
However, the Indian team`s fate seems all but sealed as it finds itself in the top half alongside defending Olympic champion South Korea and World No.1 team, the US, in the team elimination round that will get underway at the iconic venue Saturday. The team finals will also take place during the same day awarding the first medal in the discipline.
The winner of the Indo-Japan duo would come up against the US in the quarterfinals.
Title holders South Korea gave an awesome display to set up two world and Olympic records for the team and individual totals. The top four finishers Korea, France, China and the US got a bye into the last eight.
The Indians also disappointed in the individual race, with Rai grabbing the 31st spot logging 664 points. Banerjee was 46th with 655 and Talukdar 53rd with 650 in the ranking round.
In the elimination round, Rai will play 34th ranked Juan Carlos Stevens of Cuba in the opener while Banerjee takes on 19th ranked Mongolian Jantsan Gantugs. The off-colour Talukdar has the toughest draw meeting 12th ranked Jacob Wukie of the US.
The South Korean trio of Im Dong Hyun, Kim Bubmin and Oh Jin Hyek totalled 2,087 points to establish a new world and Olympic record. Both the previous records were set by South Korea. The world record score so far was 2,069 at the Antalya World Cup earlier this year and the Olympic record stood at 2,031 struck at the 1996 Atlanta Games.
Im Dong Hyun`s individual score of 699 bettered his own world record of 696 set at Antalya earlier this year and erased the Olympic mark of 684 points shot by Michele Frangilli of Italy in 1996.
World No.1 archer American Brady Ellison of the US was way below his best finishing 10th with a score of 676.