Archery World Cup: Dola, Reena compete for lone bronze medal

April 4th, 2009 - 9:00 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, April 4 (IANS) Indian archers are still assured of a bronze medal despite collapsing like a pack of cards after some superb performances in the FITA round qualifications at the archery World Cup (stage 1) being held at Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic
The 16-member Indian team is assured of a lone bronze from individual events as Dola Banerjee and Reena Kumari will play each other in the third place play-off in the women’s recurve Sunday.

The rest went out virtually without a fight Friday when challenged in the Olympic rounds.

Most of the Indians bowed out at the pre-quarterfinal level. Indians, who have done well as a team, can still hope for medals in the team championships.

Out of four men, only second seed Mangal Singh Champia could reach the quarter final, where he lost to Simon Terry of Great Britain 112-114. The other three, including top seed Rahul Banerjee, exited in the previous round. Banerjee fell to an indisposed 48th ranked Athens Olympic champion Marco Galiazzo of Italy 108-112.

Galiazzo shot only six arrows in the qualifying round before pulling out due to illness. He ended last in the field and was drawn to play the top seed.

Twelfth-ranked Jayanta Talukdar was ousted by fifth seed Crispin Duenas of Canada 102-105 while 16th seed Kapil was eliminated by fourth seed Juan Rene Serrano of Mexico 108-112.

In the women’s recurve, fourth seed Dola and 11th seed Reena Kumari moved up to the semi-finals, where they tasted defeat at the hands of Alison Williamson of Great Britain and Natalia Valeeva of Italy. The eighth-ranked Briton beat Dola 101-95 and the Italian world champion crushed Reena 111-104.

Luck of the draw played spoilsport in the men’s compound bow section with teammates M. Chinglensana Luwang and Ratan Singh meeting in the first round, with the latter scraping through 111-110.

Singh then came up against the top seed Dave Cousins of the US in the second round. To the utter surprise of all, the Manipuri shot his 12 arrows with aplomb to cause the biggest upset.

Singh won 117-114, in perhaps the first ever instance of an Indian beating a world class archer like Cousins in compound section.

Ratan’s campaign was, however, over in the next round itself when he lost to 17th ranked compatriot Chungda Sherpa in the pre-quarters 108-110.

And Sherpa himself lost in the next round to Braden Gellasthien of the US 114-15. National champion Chinna Raju Srither, seeded 10th, lost to seventh ranked Patrizio Hofer of Switzerland at 112-113 in the pre-quarters.

In the mixed team recurve semifinals, Rahul Banerjee, pairing L. Bombayla Devi instead of sister Dola, failed to make it to the podium. The top-seeded Indian duo lost to fourth-ranked Italian pair of Ilario di Buo and Natalia Valeeva 141 (18) - 118 (19) and in the bronze medal play-off it lost to French pair of Romain Girouille and Berengere Schuh 140 (17) - 140 (19), both the contests going to the tie-breaker.

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