The Indian recurve archers once again failed to match the mighty Koreans and suffered one-sided losses to settle for two silver medals in the men’s and team events of the Asian Archery Championships here on Friday.
The archers also bagged a bronze in the recurve mixed team event with an easy 6-0 win over Uzbekistan as India concluded their campaign at the continental showpiece with one gold, four silver and two bronze medals. In the last edition too, India had won seven medals (1-2-4), although the archers bettered the silver medal’s count this time.
The competition once again exposed the archers’ weakness against the Koreans in the recurve section, as they lost both their finals to their perennial nemesis which meant that India are yet to win a gold in the Olympic discipline since 2013.
The duo of Jayanta Talukdar and Deepika Kumari were the last gold medallists in recurve section – they had won the mixed team event in Taipei eight years ago. The recurve men’s team last won a gold way back in 2007, while the women have never climbed to the top of the podium.
At the Bangladesh Army Stadium in Banani, the script unfolded on expected lines with the men’s recurve team of Kapil, Pravin Jadhav and Parth Salunkhe going down 2-6 (52-57, 53-55, 56-54, 55-57) to top seed Lee Seungyun, Kim Pil-Joong and Han Woo Tack.
Up against the Koreans, the second seeded Indians showed no fight at all and shot a wayward 6, besides hitting the red ring once to score an 8 in their 52-pointer first set. They peaked gradually to take the third set with an average score of 56 but it was too little, too late as the Koreans sealed the issue with another consistent shooting of 57 in the fourth set.
The women’s recurve team of Ankita Bhakat, Madhu Vedwan and Ridhi proved to be way below par and surrendered meekly to Ryoo Su Jung, Oh Yejin and Lim Haejin 0-6 (57-52, 59-49, 56-60). A 6 and 7 in first set, followed by a 49-pointer second end from a maximum of 60 points, highlighted the Indian women’s capitulation.
The Koreans stepped it up gradually, shooting 57, 59 and then a perfect 60 to seal the issue. The recurve mixed team of Kapil and Ankita Bhakat later won 6-0 (35-32, 37-32, 36-35) against Uzbekistan’s Abdusattorova Ziyodakhon and Amirkhan Sadikov.
India’s only gold of the meet came courtesy World Championship triple silver medallist Jyothi Surekha Vennam in the compound women’s individual event. Jyothi showed the way on Thursday when she overcame the Korean challenge twice, including in a gripping but controversial final en route to winning her second Asian medal. She had last won the gold in 2015.
Jyothi settled for a silver in the mixed team event after losing to the top seed Koreans by one point to conclude her campaign with two medals. Jyothi had the company of 19-year-old Rishabh Yadav in the mixed pair event.
India bagged another silver in the compound men’s individual event after former Asian Games gold medallist Abhishek Verma lost to Korea’s Kim Jong Ho. Rishabh Yadav had bagged a compound men’s team bronze along with Verma and Aman Saini to open India’s account on Wednesday.