Copenhagen: Rajat Chauhan earned India its first-ever individual medal in the World Archery Championships when the compound marksman bagged a silver after going down to home favourite Stephan Hansen in the final here on Saturday.
The 2014 Asian Games team gold medalist, Chauhan, was going neck and neck till the third set when he shot a poor 8 and 9 as Hansen gained a three-point lead before wrapping up the issue 147-143 in a fiercely contested individual men's compound final next to the iconic Christiansborg Palace.
India thus opened their account in the ongoing World Archery Championship where they had never won any individual medal.
Women's recurve team of Deepika Kumari, Chekrovolu Swuro and Laishram Bombayla Devi had won India a World Championship medal in 2011.
India have two more medal prospects in the recurve section tomorrow when the women's team of Deepika Kumari, Rimil Buriuly and Laxmirani Majhi will vie for the gold medal against their opponents from Russia.
Laxmirani will be eying a second medal from the meet when she competes against Misun Choi of Korea in the bronze play-off.
In a battle between two 20-year-olds, Chauhan put pressure on the reigning youth world champion as he matched the local lad by shooting two perfect 10s and one nine in the first set.
The second set was no different as both of them shot two 10s each en route to totalling 58-58.
"I was very nervous especially in the first two ends but I surely got over my nerves," an elated Hansen said as he rounded up a perfect 30 in the third set to snatch a 88-85 lead.
Chauhan did not give up easily by shooting 30 in the fourth set but it was too late as Hansen continued his fine run to settle the issue in the fifth set.