Archery World Cup Stage II
Antalya, Turkey, 01-06 May, 2012
Deepika Kumari crowned the women's champion; Men's team bags silveri
As the London Olympics came closer to its starting day, the world archery talent began to produce some stunning results. The World Cup Stage II at Antalya, Turkey, played between May 1 and 6 gave enough indications of the form of archers especially in recurve, which is an Olympic event.
India had a very proud moment when its most talented and technically sound archer, Deepika Kumar, clinched the women's individual recurve gold medal with consummate ease.
The 17-year-old lass from Ranchi and trained by former National champion Purnima Mahato, won her maiden international senior gold medal defeating Korea's Lee Sung Jin.
The men's threesome of Jayanta Talukdar, Tarundeep Rai and Rahul Banerjee ousted the Koreans in the semifinals but failed to find the form that floored the great archery nation in the final. The Indian trio fell to Great Britain's seasoned team.
The following are the reports put up on the World Archery website. They are reproduced for the benefit of our readers:
LEE Sung Jin (KOR/1) vs. KUMARI Deepika (IND/23)
The 27-year old Korean is back on the international scene in the national team. She is competing in her fourth World Cup event this week in Antalya (after Antalya 2006 and 2007, Shanghai 2012). LEE was a member of the Korean team from 2003 to 2007. The year after her first appearance at international level, she became Olympic team champion and individual silver medallist in Athens. She was crowned individual and team world champion in 2005 and won the Universidad title the same year. Ranked No. 1 in the world in June 2006, LEE made her comeback in Shanghai in April where she won the team event and finished 9th individually.
The young KUMARI, who will turn 18 in June, is currently 6th in the world. She was cadet world champion in 2009 and is the current junior world champion from 2011. At senior events, she won the Asian Grand Prix 2010 in Bangkok and the Commonwealth Games the same year. In 2011 she was silver medallist of the Turin World Championships and also the runner-up of the Istanbul World Cup Final. In Shanghai she started the World Cup season with 8th place individually and 2nd in team.
Nothing to do for the young Indian in the first set as the Korean hit three times the 10-ring: 2-0 for LEE. After two 9s, the latter went out of the yellow ring with an 8 to conclude the second set. Her 26 points were not enough to win this set as her opponent from India scored 29. It was therefore a draw at 2-2. The third set turned in favour of the Korean by one point (29-28) and she led 4-2.
The Indian then shot 8-9-10. With 8-9 her opponent needed a 10 to draw the set. LEE's arrow was close but finally confirmed as a 9 and she let the two set points go to KUMARI. Draw at 4-4! The Indian did not look tense at all and she opened the final set with a perfect shot and followed with two 9s. With 9 and 10, her opponent from Korean needed a 10 to win or a 9 to tie and go to a shoot-off. LEE released an 8, and victory was for KUMARI, 6-4!
A report on the Men's recurve team final:
India (IND/5) v Great Britain (GBR/7)
The Indian team of Rahul BANERJEE, Tarundeep RAI and Jayanta TALUKDAR shocked the top seeded team Korea in semi-final with a 225-224 win. For their part, Laurence GODFREY, Simon TERRY and Alan WILLS (GBR/7) defeated the No. 2 Italy 217-216 in the quarterfinal and the No. 6 France 214-210 in the semi.
India and Great Britain met four times between 2007 and 2010. The Asian team was the winner three times: in the final at Santo Domingo 2009 Stage 1 and at Stage 1 in Porec and Stage 4 in Shanghai in 2010. The only victory by the British team dated back in 2007 to the quarterfinal at the World Cup Stage 4 on home soil in Dover.
TERRY/WILLS/GODFREY started with all arrows in the yellow (three 10s and three 9s) for a 4-point lead at 57-53. Their Asian opponents shot three arrows in the 8-ring in this end. TALUKDAR/RAI/BANERJEE repeated with another 53 end in the second, and the gap remained equal as the British also made 53 (110-106 in favour of GB's team).
Still in the race after five arrows in the third end (9-10-9-9-9 for India versus 9-9-10-10-8 for Great Britain), the Indians lost almost any hope when BANERJEE released a 6 to conclude the end. They trailed by eight points with six arrows to go (158-166). The Asian team finished the match with a 53-point final series. The British shot 54 with five arrows and had thus clinched victory before GODFREY's last arrow! The latter shot another 10 to win the gold in Antalya, 222-211.