Archery WC: Indian men’s team upset Olympic champions Korea to bag historic gold after 14 years

11:46 AM Apr 28, 2024 | PTI |

Shanghai: Indian men’s recurve team of Dhiraj Bommadevara, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav shocked reigning Olympic champions South Korea in a historic win to land an Archery World Cup gold medal after 14 years, here on Sunday.


This is Indian men’s recurve team’s maiden triumph over the archery powerhouse in a World Cup final, and it will boost their chances of securing a berth in the upcoming Paris Olympics.

The trio of Dhiraj, Tarundeep and Pravin showed ice-cool composure to get the better of the mighty Koreans without dropping a set.

The 40-year-old Army man Tarundeep was also a part of the gold medal-winning team in Shanghai World Cup Stage 4 in August 2010. Then the recurve team comprising Rahul Banerjee, Tarundeep and Jayanta defeated Japan.

In a battle between the top-two seeds of the competition, India won 5-1 (57-57, 57-55, 55-53), taking their gold medal count to five in the season-opening Stage 1 World Cup.


The success also rubbed on the mixed team of Ankita Bhakat and Dhiraj who trounced Alejandra Valencia and Matias Grande of Mexico 6-0 (35-31, 38-35, 39-37) to win bronze.

Overall, India have five gold, one silver and a bronze so far, while former world No. 1 Deepika Kumari is in the hunt for another medal, playing her women’s recurve individual semifinal later in the day.

In the men’s team final, India were up against their nemesis South Korea, who featured two members of the Tokyo Olympics gold medal winning team in Kim Woojin and Kim Je Deok. Lee Woo Seok was the third member.

But the Indian troika put up a brave front and drilled in three 10s that included two X (closer to the centre) and three 9s to match their rivals (57-all) in the opening set.

It put the pressure back on the Koreans who slipped twice into the 8-ring, while the Indian shot four perfect 10s including three Xs from six arrows to take the second set 57-55 and take 3-1 lead.

In the next set, the Koreans faltered and managed just 53 as the Indians held their nerves to close out the game with a 55 en route to clinch a first men’s team World Cup gold since 2010.

Before this victory, the women’s team had previously beaten the Koreans twice in the 2013 World Cup — Medellin Stage 3 in July and Wroclaw Stage 4 in August.

“The nerves always kick in when Korea is in the final. But now, no one can doubt our ability to defeat them,” declared former Commonwealth Games gold medalist Rahul Banerjee, a member of the Shanghai 2010 triumph.

“They have been showing perfect rhythm right from the qualifying round and it’s definitely one of the biggest wins in archery. They will now have to hold on to this momentum till Paris,” he added.

So far, India have a solitary Olympic berth which was earned by Dhiraj in the men’s individual section.

The final Olympic qualifying event is the Stage 3 World Cup in Antalya, Turkey, from June 18 to 23 following which the team rankings will offer two additional quotas for the first time.

The two highest-ranked nations, who did not make the cut from the Qualifiers, will receive team berths for Paris from the World Archery rankings.

India (231 points) are now third in the world rankings behind China (241) and No. 1 South Korea (340) and are well-placed to make the Paris Olympics cut.

Earlier on Saturday, Indian compound archers had swept the team events winning men’s, women’s and mixed team gold medals.

Reigning Asian Games champion Jyothi Surekha Vennam added a fourth gold in women’s compound individual section, while Priyansh settled for a maiden World Cup silver in the men’s individual compound section.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.