Deepika Kumari settles for silver after losing shoot-off

Kolkata: India`s best woman archer Deepika Kumari, lost narrowly to Ming Cheng of China in the shoot-off to settle for a silver medal in the prestigious Archery World Cup final held in Istanbul.

According to information received here, the 17-year-old, who was India`s solitary participation at the World Cup Final, had a 4-2 lead at the end of the third set, but in a dramatic finish the Ranchi girl lost out 5-6 to miss the gold and emulate Dola Banerjee`s feat.

India have only one gold medal in one of World Cup Final leg courtesy Dola had won in Dubai, three years back.

Deepika, who has already secured an Olympic quota for London 2012, had a terrific run in the final held at the picturesque shores of the Bosphorus where East meets West as the Commonwealth Games double gold medalist beat promising 16-year-old Mexican Alejandra Valencia who won a bronze medal at the Ogden World Cup (Stage 3).

But the reigning World Junior champion had her best win when she ousted Beijing Olympic bronze medalist Berengere Schuh of France in the semis to set up a summit clash against World Cup Stage 3 gold medalist Cheng.

The Indo-Chinese duo had a spectacular start in the final, with both firing in 10-10 each to start the first set.

But in the third set of arrows, Cheng shot a 9 while Deepika got an 8 as the Indian trailed the first set 0-2 with scores of 28-29.

It was a dramatic ending in the second set that saw Deepika equalise 2-2 after the Chinese managed 6 with third arrow.

Cheng started with 10-9 and needed an 8 to win the set and lead 4-0 but she had a poor shot as Deepika was happy to take the two points at stake and tie the match at 2-2.

In the third set, the Indian took advantage of a 7 by Cheng to take a 4-2 lead.

The fourth set was reversed with Deepika shooting a 7 at her first arrow which became the turning point for the Indian as Cheng made a comeback to make it 4-4.

But there was more drama in store with Cheng opening the final set with a 6, compared to Deepika`s 9.

However, Deepika could not be consistent as she shot 8 and 9, compared to Cheng`s two perfect 10s for a stalemate at 26-26.

In the ensuing shoot-off, Cheng scored a good 9 close to the 10-ring as the 17-year old needed a perfect 10 to clinch the yellow metal.

The teenager gave in to pressure, finishing with an 8 to hand Cheng the gold medal.


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