Asian Games archery: Deepika seventh, team 5th in women’s qualifying

Friday, November 19, 2010

GUANGZHOU - Belying expectations, the Indian women had a disappointing start to the 16th Asian Games archery competition, finishing fifth overall in the recurve team qualification Friday.

World No.1 South Korea finished first with a Games record of 4087 points, followed by 10th ranked Chinese Taipei with 3962 points. World No. 2 China was pushed to third spot with 3941 points while rank outsider North Korea took the fourth spot ahead of India loging 3929. The Indians managed 3891.

Commonwealth Games gold medallist and India’s best bet for a medal, Deepika Kumari, finished seventh overall picking up 1329 points. The 17-year-old Ranchi girl was the only Indian to come up with a 1300 plus score.

Rimil Buriuly, who missed the CWG selection narrowly, was the second best Indian to qualify at the 18th position with a total of 1298 and veteran Dola Banerjee was 29th with 1264.

Laishram Bombayla Devi, who shot her arrows only for the individual qualification, was 28th with 1270 points.

The Archery Association of India (AAI) sprang a surprise by omitting Bombayla Devi from the three-member team and inducted Rimil who justified her selection. Had Dola been on target, India could have finished much higher in the placings.

It was a dream start for South Korea whose world-class archers hogged the limelight by setting three Games records.

Yun Ok Hee was involved in all three records. She first set the 60m distance record by scoring 345 points out of 360. Her four distance (70m, 60m, 50, 30m) total of 1371 was another Games’ record surpassing the total of 1352 set by her compatriot Lee Eun-Kyung at Hiroshima in 1994.

Yun (1371), Ki Bo Bae (1368) and Joo Hyun Jung (1348) had a team total of 4087 points which again is a new Games’ record. The previous best was 4042 points, also by South Korea and established at Hiroshima in 1994.

North Korea seems to be the dark horse of the competition surpassing all expectations to make a mark at the Games.

A total of 52 women recurve archers were in the fray Friday. The tail was brought up by a Bangladeshi archer.

The men’s recurve qualification is scheduled for Saturday.

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