Jakarta: Indian Men’s Compound Archery team lived on the edge despite shooting their best scores, but precise shooting by Korea ultimately handed the world champions Asian Games gold medal after one of the engrossing contest that raised the bar much higher than the expectations, at the Archery Field in Gelora Bung Karno Stadium here on Tuesday.
India was locked in two Compound Team finals, and both against Korea. Though women lost without much drama, the defending champion men’s team dished out a contest to savour after first taking lead over the Korean team-the same archers whom they had beaten in 2014 Incheon.
Luck would be so cruel to them at the end of the 24-shot final as the computerised scores placed India 229-227 ahead of Korea at the end of the regulation time with two stars on 9 pointers.
Unlike in shooting where the computer gives exact scores in decimal, archery still depends on manual checking of arrows on the target with coaches from both sides present to verify the noting done by the officials.
As the luck would have it, two starred 9 pointers that Korea had in their scores were changed to 10 and the final score was settled at 229-229 soon after the Indian archers celebrated thinking they had the real edge-at least one would remain 9 if other was to change to 10.
“I will not blame anyone for this. Luck was not with us today. We did much better shooting than the Koreans but what can we do when manual scoring put us in a losing situation,” said Men’s Compound Team coach Lokesh Chand.
“Our one 9 pointer was with a star but it was adjudged as 9, while their two 9 pointers with stars were converted into 10s forcing the match into tie-shoot, in which too we failed to get benefit of doubt,” said Chand of the manual scoring necessitated after the shoot-off.
“Same thing happened four years ago in Incheon and we won the gold medal then against the same team. It seems, in Jakarta Korea came in with a better luck,” Chand added.
India had won the first set 60-56 for a solid four-point lead in the four-set final. Korea came back strongly in the second set to win 58-54 and level the proceedings at 114-114.
It was a see-saw battle which saw India reclaim advantage in the third set, winning 58-56. And, after the shoot-off was necessitated after it looked like India had won initially.
In the shoot-off, Korea came up with a precise bulls-eye on the first shot, while the Indian team comprising Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan and Aman Saini managed 29 after shooting 9 on the first attempt.
Koreans came up with two more 10s and that ended India’s resistance.
Women win silver
Earlier, women archers took silver medal following a narrow loss to South Korea. The Indians gave a tough fight to the overwhelming favourites before going down 228-231 in the final.
The Indian team of Muskan Kirar, Madhumita Kumari and Jyothi Vennam won the first set, but could not sustain the momentum, going down 59-57, 56-58, 58-58, 55-58.
“The wind was somewhat a factor during the last shots, but we can’t blame the loss on that. Korean’s did shoot very well,” said Jyothi Vennam.
Madhumita Kumari too said that Koreans were well prepared for the final and came into the match with full concentration. “We were not really under pressure. We wanted to enjoy the situation and win a medal for the country. Gold medal would have been an icing on the cake but I think Korea were a better team today,” said Jyothi.
Recurve Individual Gold medal match: Woojin Kim (Kor) bt Wooseok Lee (Kor) 6-4 (27-27, 26-28, 27-26, 29-29, 27-26).
Recurve Individual Bronze medal match: Riau Ega Agata (Ina) bt Ilfat Abdullin (Kaz) 6-2 (29-29, 28-27, 30-26, 28-28).
Compound Team Gold medal match: Korea bt India 229-229 (56-60, 58-54, 56-58; 59-57).
Compound Team Bronze medal match: Malaysia bt Chinese Taipei 225-223 (57-54, 55-55, 56-56, 57-58).
Recurve Individual Gold medal match: Xinyan Zhang (Chn) bt Diananda Choirunisa (Ina) 7-3 (30-28, 28-28, 27-28, 29-24, 30-27).
Recurve Individual Bronze medal match: Chaeyoung Kang (Kor) bt Chien-Ying Lei (Tpe) 6-4 (29-27, 29-30, 27-29, 30-28, 30-28).
Compound Team Gold medal match: Korea bt India 231-228 (57-59, 58-56, 58-58, 58-55).
Compound Team Bronze medal match: Chinese Taipei bt Iran 226-221 (56-54, 56-57, 58-54, 56-56).