Rio 2016 Olympics Archery: In a great show that virtually tore the opposition apart, the Indian women’s recurve archery team comprising of Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi Laishram, Laxmirani Majhi has defeated Columbia to reach the quarterfinal at Rio Olympics. This is a major triumph after all was lost on day 1 however, the team emerged bruised but confident to be able to defeat a Colombian side that was virtually playing in their home conditions.
This is quite a U-turn in fortunes after a very disappointing outing on Saturday when archer Deepika Kumari had to express her helplessness in the women’s in the qualification round of the team event where the Indian team finished as low as 7th. Then Deepika had managed just 640 from 720 available points and that was good only for 20th spot. Bombayla Devi Laishram on the other hand had shot just 638 and ended up in the 24th spot, while Laxmirani Majhi managed 614 points and ended up in 43rd position.
This had ruined India’s medal prospects because these sportswomen needed a top four-finish and a bye into the quarters. Instead, after securing 1,892 points they had to enter the elimination stage from the first round of 16 on Sunday, which they managed to win against Colombia.
The Indian team beat Colombia 5-3. The Indian archers will now have to compete against Russia in the quarterfinal. In a concern for India, the archers managed to triumph despite not being on top of their game. Fortunately though, the Colombian team was too error prone and gave away an easy win. The Colombian archers could be seen crying even before the last arrow had been sent to the target as they realised their fate had been sealed.
The play was thrilling in between as the teams were locked 3-3 after first three sets, but the Colombian team fell apart in the final set. In fact Colombia needed just 28 pts with their final three arrows to overtake India’s score of 52, but Caroline Aguirre fluffed a great chance to advance by managing a shocking 3. It was amazing to see her efforts flying away as far as possible from the centre of the target.
The Indian archers ultimately won the set by 52-44 and took an unbeatable 5-3 lead.
Now, since they will be facing a much tougher Russia, India need to pull up their socks. Bombayla managed to put in just about an adequate performance with an 8 pointer, five 9s and one 10. Against Colombia they managed to hit the perfect 10 only twice – one each by Bombayla and Deepika. In fact Deepika hitt an atrocious 7 with the final arrow of the first set. It was enough by a point to overtake Colombia. She repeated the 7s twice more. She managed to pull it all back and scored a 10 plus three 9 points.
So, now that Indian archery team has advanced it will face second ranked Russia and third ranked China in their prospective quarter-final and semi-final matches.