Hangzhou, Oct 2 (PTI) Indian archers showed tenacity and authority in equal measure to storm into the quarterfinals in all the six team events of the Asian Games here on Monday.
The Indians played five team elimination rounds and dropped just one set on way to their respective quarterfinal matches in both recurve and compound sections.
India have got a bye into the quarters by virtue of topping the qualifications in the women’s compound team event.
India remained in contention in all five gold medals up for grabs in compound section with all the four archers — Ojas Deotale, Abhishek Verma, Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Aditi Swami — progressing to their respective individual quarterfinals in the afternoon session.
In the recurve section, Dhiraj Bommadevara and Atanu Das advanced, while India’s campaign ended in women’s individual section, in the only blip of the day.
First, it was the top-seeded compound mixed team of Ojas Deotale and Jyothi Surekha Vennam, who showed the way as they dropped just one point from 16 arrows to eliminate UAE’s Amna Alawadhi and Mohammed Binamro 159-151.
The duo will take on formidable Malaysia (No 8 seed) in the quarters, and thereafter, they should have an easy draw till the final.
Then, the Indian recurve mixed pair duo of Atanu Das and Ankita Bhakat were at their resilient best and overcome a first-set deficit to defeat Malayasia in a three-setter.
The fifth seeded Indian duo of Das and Ankita rallied to beat the Malaysian team of Syaqiera Binti Mashayikh and Muhamad Zarif Syahir Bin Zolkepeli 6-2 (39-38, 37-36, 39-33).
The Malaysia pair enjoyed a 2-0 lead with three 10s including one X in the first set. But, the experienced Indian duo bounced back with two 10s and went on to draw level, as the Malaysians crumbled under pressure.
The Malaysians hit the red-ring (8) once and went on to lose the second by a slender one-point margin.
There was more misery in store for the Malaysians who shot into the red ring thrice (8-8-8), while Das-Ankita drilled in three perfect 10s en route to a six-point win in the third set.
The Indian pair sealed the issue with three more 10s in the fourth set and set up a last-eight clash against the fourth-seeded Indonesians.
Should they overcome the Indonesian challenge, the Indians may run into the top-seeded Koreans in a potential semifinal clash in the Olympic-qualifying event.
There are six quota spots available from the Asian Games — the recurve mixed team winners and two archers ranked high in the individual events.
In compound men’s team event, the second-seeded Indian trio of Ojas, Abhishek Verma and Prathamesh Jawkar thrashed 15th seed Singapore (Woon Teng NG, Lee Chung Hee Alan, Jun Hui Goh) 235-219.
The Indian triumvirate had a cautious start and had four 10s to take a 58-55 lead.
But the Indians came on their own from second end onwards and dropped just three points to rout their rivals by a 16-point margin.
The compound men’s team is pitted against lower-ranked Bhutan in the quarters and will likely face the third seeded Chinese Taipei in the semifinals.
The top-seeded Indian women’s compound team of Jyothi, Aditi Swami and Parneet Kaur, who got a bye into the quarters, will open its campaign against ninth-seeded Hong Kong, who ousted Bangladesh 225-218.
The Indian men’s recurve team of Das, Dhiraj and Tushar Shelke beat Hong Kong’s Kwok Yin Chai, Law Kwun Pok Lucien and Wn Chun Kit 6-0 (58-47, 57-49, 57-55) in a lopsided contest.
The third-seeded Indians, who face lower-ranked Mongolia (No 11) in the last-eight, have an easy draw till the final, with Korea and Japan in the top half.
The unfancied women’s recurve team of Ankita Bhakat, Bhajan Kaur and Simranjeet Kaur also shone through, ousting 12th seeded Thailand.
The fifth-seeded Indians won 5-1 (49-47, 54-54, 55-54) and are pitted against fourth-seeded Japan in a tough quarterfinal match-up.
Reigning world champion Deotale began with an easy defeat of Ahmad Alshatti (Kuwait) 148-138. He then overcame Chen Chieh-Lun of Chinese Taipei 146-145 in a tough contest.
The fourth seeded Verma defeated Belal Ayman Alawadi of Saudi Arabia 147-139, and then ousted Nguyen Van Day (Vietnam) 146-142 to make the last-eight.
Verma and Deotale are in the opposite halves and will head for a potential final clash, should they win their respective semi-finals.
Jyothi and her protege Aditi, once again, are headed for a possible face-off after sailing into their respective quarters without much fuss.
Aditi had beaten Jyothi 145-149 in the semifinal before becoming the world champion at Berlin in August this year.
Jyothi beat Anuradha Wijesinghe Karunaratne of Sri Lanka 145-132, and then accounted for Fatimah Saad Mahmood Almashhadani 146-141.
Aditi prevailed over Imayung Rai of Nepal 149-137, while she overwhelmed Syahara Khoerunisa of Indonesia 148-146.
In recurve section, Atanu Das beat Bin Mohamad Khairul Anuar of Malaysia 6-4 (27-27, 29-28, 24-28, 26-26, 29-28) in a challenging five-setter.
He then overcame Robert Nam of Tajikistan 7-1 (28-26, 28-28, 26-25, 28-26) to make the last-eight.
Dhiraj Bommadevara had to come through a tie-breaker to make the quarters with a tough 6-5 (27-27, 28-30, 28-27, 28-27, 25-29) (10-8) win over Muhammad Hakim Ahmed Rubel of Bangladesh.
The Army man rallied to beat Lam Dorji of Bhutan 6-2 (27-28, 30-29, 30-26, 28-27).
India’s campaign ended in women’s individual section. Bhajan made a pre-quarters exit, going down to reigning Olympic champion An San of South Korea 3-7 (28-27, 25-28, 28-28, 27-28, 27-28).
Ankita lost to Rezza Octavia in the second round, enduring a 5-6 (26-27, 28-27, 27-28, 25-25, 26-25) (9-10) defeat in the shoot-off.