Archery: Deepika keeps medal hopes alive, enters pre-quarterfinals
World No. 1 archer Deepika Kumari survived some anxious moments before getting past US teenager Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez 6-4 to sail into the pre-quarterfinals of the women's individual section and keep Indian medal hopes alive at the Tokyo Olympics on Wednesday. Noticeably, Kumari started off hitting the red zone, capping a poor seven at the floodlit Yumenoshima Park.
She lost first set but bounced back to take lead
Kumari lost the first set by one point but she bounced back strongly with three 10s in a row to take a 4-2 lead. She, however, failed to wrap up the match in the fourth set as she misfired a six in her second arrow.
She finished with a poor 8 in the final set
The 18-year-old American made it 4-4, winning the fourth set by one point (25-24). In the winner-take-all fifth set, Kumari had two 9s to start with before finishing with a poor 8. Needing a 10 in her last arrow to force a shoot-off, Mucino-Fernandez signed off with a nine in what was a promising campaign for the American teenager.
She had defeated Bhutan's Karma in round two earlier
Earlier, Kumari sailed into the second round with a facile 6-0 win over lower-ranked Karma of Bhutan in her opening match. World number 193 Karma, the flag bearer of Bhutan -- a country where archery is a national sport -- during the opening ceremony, had poor scores of 23, 23, and 24 in the third set where she managed a 10.
Atanu Das to play against China's Yu-Cheng on Thursday
The Indian also had a slow start, scoring 26 each in the first two sets, before she picked up with a 27 to seal her last-32 berth. Notably, Kumari's husband Atanu Das, who slipped to 35th place in the ranking, begins his campaign against China's Deng Yu-Cheng in his opening round of 64 matches on Thursday.
Pravin Jadhav, Tarundeep Rai make second-round exits
Meanwhile, Pravin Jadhav and Tarundeep Rai made second-round exits. Olympic debutant Jadhav knocked out world number 2 Galsan Bazarzhapov in his opening match only to suffer a heavy defeat to world champion Brady Ellison in the second round. Rai too had made a second-round exit, going down to Israel's Itay Shanny in a tight shoot-off finish for a heartbreaking exit in his last Olympics.
This was second successive round two exit for Rai
Noticeably, both Rai and Shanny were locked 5-5 but Shanny, who is 15 years younger to Rai, sealed the match 10-9 with a perfect score in the shoot-off. This was the second successive round two exit for three-time Olympian Rai who had made his Games debut at Athens 2004. In the 2012 London Olympics too, Rai had lost in the second round.
Jadhav had raised expectations for the misfiring Indian archers
Meanwhile, Jadhav, with a 31st place in the ranking round, had raised expectations for the misfiring Indian archers as he dropped just one point to win the first set en route to a stunning 6-0 win against Bazarzhapov under windy conditions at the Yumenoshima Park.