Champia on target in individual ranking, women’s team in last eight (Archery Lead)

August 9th, 2008 - 7:20 pm ICT by IANS  

By V. Krishnaswamy
Beijing, Aug 9 (IANS) India’s sole men’s entry in archery, Mangal Singh Champia, shot the second best score to bring a lot of cheer to the Indian camp on the opening day of competition at the Beijing Olympic Games here Saturday. Champia shot 678, just one point less than the top archer Mexican Juan Rene Serrano (679) in the men’s individual ranking round of the archery competition at the Olympic Green Archery field here.

Champia, supported by the Mittal Sports Trust, had missed the world record of 687 by three points some months ago.

Meanwhile, Indian women archers finished sixth as a team Saturday, despite some less than modest individual performances.

Another stronger contender Park Kyung-Mo, also of Korea, was fourth with 676. Champia, 24, also finished ahead of the world record holder, Im Dong-Hyun of Korea (670). Also behind the Indian was defending gold medallist Marco Galiazzo of Italy, who shot 667 to be in 12th place.

The Indian, who was a bronze medallist in team event at Doha Asian Games, had more bull’s eyes than the leader, getting 41 as compared by 40 by the Serrano.

While this score itself may not mean anything when it comes to knock-out rounds, it does give an indication of Champia’s form and capability. The fine result by Champia raised hopes in men’s individual section and he will now meet 63rd ranked Iran’s Vaezi Hojjatolah (604) in the round of 32.

Meanwhile in the women’s section, the Indians finished way down in the ranking round. However, as a team they finished sixth, which earned them a bye in the round of 16 and they will now meet third ranked hosts China in the last eight stage.

The best Indian was Laishram Bombayla Devi in 22nd place with 637 while seasoned campaigner Dola Banerjee took 31st place with 633 points, and V. Pranitha, with 627 points, was 37th among the 64 archers.

The ranking round is to determine the match pairings for the round of 32 when the tournament uses the knock-out format.

Women’s world record holder Sung-Hyun Park of Korea took the top spot with 673 points, while her compatriot Ok-Hee Yun was second with 667.

Bombayla scored 637, inclusive of nine bulls’ eye hits and 22 ten-pointers at the Olympic Green archery Field. The Manipur girl, in her maiden Olympics, will take on 43rd ranked Poland’s Iwona Marcinkiewicz (620) in the first round of the individual women’s competition Tuesday.

Dola, who turned 29 exactly a week ago, got eight bulls’ eye hits and 20 ten-pointers as she accumulated 633. The Baranagar-born archer will clash with 34th ranked Marie-Pier Beaudet of Canada (628) in the first knock-out round.

Pranitha, a newcomer who got into the contingent on the basis of her final trials in Kolkata, paid for her inconsistency after a good performance in the first half. Pranitha was at the 19th position with a score of 321 at the half-way stage after shooting 36 arrows, but slipped 18 places as she could only score 306 with the next 26 arrows. She will meet 28th ranked Australian Jane Waller in her first knock-out match.

The rankings for the team event were also decided on the basis of the performances of individual archers of a particular country. India took the sixth place among ten teams with a total of 1,897.

In the round of eight they will meet hosts China, who were third. The top six teams got a bye, while the remaining four will fight it out for a place in the last eight. The quarters will be held on Sunday and a win will put India close to a medal.

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