Olympic archery: Indian men crash out (Lead)

July 28th, 2012 - 6:28 pm ICT by IANS  

London, July 28 (IANS) Indian archers failed to hold their nerves in crunch situations after a sound start to lose to Japan in the tie-breaker and bow out of the men’s team event at the London Olympics here Saturday.

Both teams were tied 214-214 after the stipulated four rounds in the opening elimination battle at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. But in the shootout, the Japanese managed 29, while the Indians got 27 out of a maximum 30.

The Japanese team comprising Yu Ishizu, Hideki Kikuchi and Takaharu Furukaw shot two tens and a nine in the tie-break. In reply, the Indian trio of Jayanta Talukdar, Rahul Banerjee and Tarundeep Rai could hit only three nines which sealed the team’s fate.

India finished last out of 12 teams in the ranking round Friday while Japan were fifth.

In Saturday’s outing, India led by three points (109-106) at the end of the first two rounds, but Japan rallied back to draw level and push the contest to the tie-break.

In the first end of six arrows, the Indian archers were ahead 54-52, and widened the gap by another point in the second end. The Japanese managed to reduce the lead to 159-160 by the third end of arrows.

However, India came within striking distance of packing the Japanese out of the tournament in the fourth end. As Banerjee prepared to shoot the final arrow of the round with the score reading 205-214, a ten would have seen India through to the quarter finals. But Rahul culled only a nine.

Rai, who hit the preceding arrow for India, had also come up with his first eight of the match and these two shots proved costly.

The Indians, especially the off-colour Jayanta, seemed tentative in the tie-break and could not manage a single ten.

Both Jayanta and Rahul hit two eights during the fight against Japan.

Incidentally, this was India’s second loss to Japan in two months. The Indians, who had made the cut for the Olympics at Ogden World Cup Stage III meet by beating Australia in the semifinals, went down to their Asian rivals in the tournament finals last month.

The Indian men will now take part in the individual competition July 30, but their awful form so far makes one suspect how far they would be able to lift themselves to progress further.

The focus now shifts to the women’s team event Sunday when the combination of Deepika Kumari, Laishram Bombayala Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro play their eliminator against Denmark.

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