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Triumphs and Challenges: India’s Archery Story at Antalya World Cup

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The final stage of the Archery World Cup in Antalya has concluded, leaving behind a trail of
extraordinary performances, a few disappointments, and a glimmer of hope.
Indian archers clinched four medals in this stage (1 gold, 1 silver, and 2 bronze) and are second in the medal tally, behind the mighty South Koreans.

Indian archers had a better campaign in Antalya as compared to their performance in Yecheon, where they could manage to win only 2 medals.
Golden streak for the Women’s Compound Team

The consistent trio of Jyothi Vennam, Aditi Swami, and Parneet Kaur struck gold, yet again,
in the Compound Team event achieving a golden hat-trick in this year’s World Cup Stages (fourth consecutive gold medal, considering Paris World Cup Stage 4 2023).

Exuding consistency and perfection throughout, they have attained unmatched brilliance, well-
deserving of all the media attention.

Topping the qualification, they faced El Salvador in the quarterfinals. With a thumping
dominance and scoring a perfect 60 in the last set, they edged out a 235–227 victory.

Facing the home team, Turkey, in the semi-finals, they shot 9s and 10s frequently for another 234-
227 triumph. The final against Estonia was a close one with the Indian team taking away the
gold with 232-229, striking five consecutive Xs in the set three.

If I were to choose the brightest takeaway from this World Cup, it would undoubtedly be this
team and their extraordinary performance. I do not intend to disappoint the irregular followers of sports, but it is a sad reality that compound archery is not included in the Olympics, and this brilliant team may not become a household name because they do not have the opportunity to win an Olympic medal and validate themselves.

Priyansh steps up; other compound events disappoint Priyansh’s performance was nothing short of spectacular, showcasing phenomenal precision coupled with extraordinary accuracy and steadfast composure.

Demonstrating exceptional skill, he scored a consistent 149 throughout the initial rounds and an impeccable 150 in the semifinals.
He gave his all in the final of the compound individual event, scoring perfect thirties in three sets, but eventually had to settle for the silver medal, with Mike Schloesser taking away the gold (148–149).

Priyansh replicated his silver medal finish from the Shanghai World Cup 2024 Stage 1. The
other archers in the fray, Prathamesh Fuge and Abhishek Verma, both lost in the third round.

Prathamesh’s loss was against the compatriot Priyansh, while Abhishek, the higher seed, lost
to Turkish archer Batuhan Akcaoglu.

Despite the high expectations for the men’s compound team and Jyothi, who were both
anticipated to finish on the podium, there had been some disappointing results.

While Jyothi was eliminated in the third round, the men’s team lost a nail-biting semi-final, which was decided by a shootout.
It was indeed very unfortunate for them to lose the bronze medal match by a single point, though the Indian team topped the qualifications.

Team quota confirmed for men and women recurve team

The cherry on top of this World Cup is that both the men’s and women’s recurve teams have
sealed the ticket to the Paris Olympics via the world rankings.
After losing out on assured spots in the Olympic Qualifier Tournament, the Indian Archery contingent will now be able to send six archers for the first time after the London Olympics in 2012.

The men’s recurve team failed to recreate their historic gold-winning performance at the
Shanghai World Cup, losing tamely to the Netherlands in the second round.

Following a poor result in the Olympic Qualifiers, the women’s archery team fared significantly better. The team lost in the semi-finals and was unable to rediscover their form in the bronze medal match, where the Japanese team crushed them with 6-0 points to take the bronze.

Dhiraj, Ankita, and the Mixed Team- A Glimmer of Hope

Dhiraj Bommadevara with two bronze medals in this edition has given a slight hope to all of
us before heading into the Paris Olympics. In the bronze medal match, he defeated the Tokyo
Olympics silver medalist, Mauro Nespoli.
In addition to his individual success, Dhiraj also
excelled in the mixed team event, partnering with Bhajan Kaur to secure another bronze
medal for India.

The mixed-team event has revived some hopes of a podium finish in the Olympics. South Koreans have traditionally presented the most difficult challenges for Indians to overcome.

Dhiraj and the mixed team both lost to Korea in the semi-finals.

However, Ankita turned the tables on this scenario, defeating Korean archer Jeon Hunyoung 6-4 in the quarterfinals. The
Korean archer fumbled and shot a six, which helped Ankita close out the match.

She failed to carry on the momentum in the next matches, missing the chance to have a podium finish.

Yet, her performance is an appreciable one in the face of the continuing misery of Deepika
Kumari. The poster girl of Indian archery is not able to deliver the results she is capable of.

The Olympic Qualifier and World Cup saw her in dismal form, but of course she carries a lot
of expectations from the Indian fans.

What is next for these archers?

The recurve archers will head to the Paris Olympics for the mega showdown with the
qualification beginning on July 25, 2024.
We will see the compound archers in action next at the Lac La Biche 2024 World Archery Field Championships on September 16th in Canada.

Written by Khushi

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