Four Indians including Deepika Kumari and Tarundeep Rai advanced into third round even as Atanu Das crashed out in the recurve individual section of the Archery World Cup Stage III in Antalya (Turkey) on Wednesday. Making their first international appearance this season after missing out the season-opening World Cup Stage I in Medellin due to travel issues, the Indians also kept themselves in medal hunt in the compound section where Avishek Verma and Rajat Chauhan also made it to round three. The 21-year-old Atul Verma, a bronze medalist at the 2014 Youth Olympics, was the most impressive, shocking Shanghai World Cup gold medallist Deng Yu-Cheng of Chinese Taipei in a shoot-off.
Trailing 0-4 after two sets, Verma, a silver medalist at the 2017 World Youth Championship, made a stunning comeback winning the next two sets before the fifth one saw a 28-all tie. In the shoot-off, Verma held his nerves to edge out his opponent 9-8 to set up a third round clash against world number two Steve Wijler of the Netherlands, a bronze medalist at the 2017 World Championships in Mexico. Verma had thrashed Gantugs Jantsan of Mongolia 7-3 in the first round.
Former Olympian Tarundeep Rai also remained in the medal fray and set up a third round clash with 17-year-old Japanese Aoshima Tetsuya, a bronze medallist at the 2017 World Youth Championships. The Army man defeated Dominik Irrasch of Austria (first round) 7-3 and Gasper Strajhar of Slovenia (second round) 6-4 en route to third round. India’s number one recurve archer Atanu Das, crashed out in the second round suffering a 3-7 defeat to 19-year-old Carlos Rojas of Mexico.
The world No 25 Indian took a 2-0 lead but inconsistency let him down as he shot a series of 8s, giving the Mexican youngster, a chance to seize the momentum. Former world No 1 Deepika started her campaign with an easy 6-0 win over Jibek Kanatbek Kyzy Jibek of Kyrgyzstan 6-0. In the second round, Deepika face a strong challenge from 45-year-old 1992 Barcenlona Olympics bronze medalist Khatuna Lorig before prevailing 6-5 (9-7) in the shootoff. Deepika will face Veronika Marchenko of Ukraine in the third round.
Laishram Bombayla Devi had a smooth sailing into round three going past Ozay Gasimova of Azerbaijan and Mackenzie Brown of USA by identical scores of 6-4. Bombayla will next face Sayana Tsyrempilova of Russia.