Asian Games archery: Modest show by Indians

Saturday, November 20, 2010

GUANGZHOU - Indian men’s recurve archers found the going tough in the 16th Asian Games archery competition at the Aoti Archery Range, finishing fourth in the teams qualification after the FITA round here Saturday.

The South Korean men swept all the four top positions in individual category and also the top position in the team division. In the process, Kim Woo Jin broke five Games records in the individual section and the Korean mens team smashed the world and Games records in the team total segment.

The best Indian on view was Commonwealth Games individual champion Rahul Banerjee. He finished eighth with a total of 1,335 points. Tarundeep Rai, who was dropped from the team competition in favour of Mangal Singh Champia, came out with a vengeance to occupy the ninth place with 1,332, one place ahead of Champia who totalled 1,331.

Jayanta Talukdar was 12th with 1,330, and would be out of the individual competition as according to new rules only the top two qualifiers from each country can compete in the individuals. So Rahul and Tarundeep can only take part in the individuals.

The Indian mens team was fourth overall with a total of 3,996 points and will play Bangladesh (13) in the first round of the team championship. By finishing fourth, India will be clubbed with top seed Korea (4,114) in the top half. China (4,026) and Japan (4,003) will be seeded second and third respectively and will be in the bottom half.

The toast of the day was Korean Kim Woo Jin. He set Games record in each of the four distances and also individual total. He had 333 in the 90m, 349 in the 70m, 345 in 50m and 360 in 30m for a total of 1,387 which broke the world record. The previous world record was 1,386 set by Oh Jin-Hyek, also of Korea, at Ulsan last year. He also improved upon the Games mark of 1,341 by Kim Kyung Ho of Korea set at Busan in 2002.

In fact, top seven finishers did better than the previous Games record.

The Korea team total of 4,114 was another Games record, surpassing 4,003 also set by Korea at Busan in 2002.

As many as 26 out of 62 archers finished in excess of 1,300 points making this competition one of the fiercely contest one.

Oh Jin Hyek of Korea was second with 1,366, Im Dong Hyun was third with 1,361 and his compatriot Lee Chang Hwan was fourth with 1,355 for a Korean sweep in the individual ranking.

The third day of the competition on Sunday will feature the womens team championship which will decide the first gold medal of the Games in the event. The Indian womens team had finished fifth and will play Vietnam in the first round.

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