It was a proud moment for Indian archers as they claimed three medals, two of them gold, in compound events at the Shanghai Archery World Cup in China on Saturday.
The biggest achievement was in the men’s compound individual competition. India’s 19-year-old Prathamesh S Jawkar upset 29-year-old Mike Schloesser of the Netherlands to win gold.
It was a neck-and-neck contest but the promising Indian archer edged past his more experienced rival 149-148 to establish himself at the global competition.
“He (Jawkar) stayed focused during the final match. It enabled him to win gold,” Sanjeeva Kumar Singh, India’s high performance director in archery said.
India’s second gold came in the compound mixed event. The pair of Jyothi Surekha and Ojas Deotale combined well for their second compound mixed team World Cup title within a span of four weeks. The Indian duo had won compound mixed team gold at the Turkish World Cup in Istanbul last month.
“Winning gold in compound events is a big morale booster ahead of the Hangzhou Asian Games scheduled to be held in China from September 23. The Indian archers defeated the Korean in the final. It is a big thing,” Sanjeeva Kumar Singh added.
The Indian team defeated Bangladesh 159-153 in their first-round match and then overcame Turkey 159-156 in the quarterfinals. In the semis, Indian archers edged past Italy through a tie-break. This was after both teams ended at 157-157 after the regulation period.
In the final, India outplayed Korea 156-155 to prove their quality at the Shanghai World Cup.
In another notable achievement, India's Avneet Kaur won an individual bronze in the women’s compound.
“Regular foreign exposure and intense domestic competition has enabled the top Indian archers to improve their performance at the 2023 world cups,” Singh added.
With these encouraging performances, Indian fans can be optimistic about the country's performance in the upcoming Asian Games. They will also hope for a medal at the Olympics next year.
Over the last three editions of the Summer Games, the Indian contingent has come close to winning a medal but hasn't quite crossed the line. This time, it is hoped, things would be different.