CWG archery: India end campaign with three gold (Roundup)

By Bharat Sharma, IANS
Sunday, October 10, 2010

NEW DELHI - Deepaki Kumari, India’s young archery sensation, and Rahul Banerjee won gold in individual recurve events, rounding off a memorable outing for the archers at the Commonwealth Games here Sunday.

Jayanta Talukdar and veteran Dola Banerjee lost their semi-final matches and got a bronze each.

With four medals coming their way Sunday, India ended their campaign in archery with a rich haul of eight medals –three gold, one silver and four bronze.

Rahul and Deepika won the finals of the individual men’s and women’s recurve in contrastng style. Deepika outclassed Athens Olympic bronze medallist Alison Jane Williamson of England 6-0 while Rahul fought back from two sets down to beat Jason Lyon of Canada 6-5.

Windy conditions at the Yamuna Sports Complex troubled the archers.

It was Deepika, who was the star of the day. The 16-year-old, daughter of an autorickshaw driver, hails from a village 12 km from Ranchi.

The class 11 student said she rated the Games victory at par with the cadet world championships title in 2009 and dedicated it to her family and the coaches.

“The gold here means a lot to me but that world cadet title was also special. I want to thank my family and the coaches for their support,” said Deepika.

Former world cup champion Dola, who beat Malaysian Anbarasi Subramaniam 6-2 in the third place play-off, was effusive in her praise of Deepika.

The team comprising Deepika, Dola and Bombayala Devi earlier won the gold in the women’s recurve team event.

“I don’t mind Deepika getting the gold and I finishing third. The medals are for India at the end of the day. Deepika has been performing very well in the last couple of years.”

Dola, who lost to eventual silver medallist Williamson in the semifinals, said Indian archers have improved in the last one-and-a-half years and the women’s team need one more archer like Deepika to be the best in the world.

“I have been in the sport for 16 years and I never received the kind of training that we all did during training camp ahead of the Games. I hope it goes on like this after the event as well.”

Top seed Rahul, who went into the final after taking tips from sister Dola said he was lucky to get through in the end.

“I was shooting second in the match and that was an advantage. The conditions were tough and I watched Dola didi’s match earlier which gave me an idea about the wind direction,” said Rahul.

Second seed Talukdar salvaged a bronze by defeating Matthew Gray of Australia 6-4 in the third place play-off.

Filed under: Commonwealth Games

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