India’s campaign in Tokyo 2020 got off to a poor start with Deepika Kumari, currently ranked No.1 archer in the world, finishing ninth in the women’s individual archery ranking round with a total score of 663 at the Yumenoshima Ranking Field on Friday. Kumari will now clash with Bhutan’s Bhu Karma, ranked No.193, in the first round on July 28.
Later, recurve archer Pravin Jadhav finished 31st in the men’s individual archery ranking round while the duo of Atanu Das, Deepika’s husband, and Tarundeep Rai finished at 35th and 37th position, respectively.
If Deepika progress into the quarter final of the event, she might face top seed An San from South Korea on July 30. An San created a new Olympic record score of 680 on Friday and is in sublime form after shooting 36 10’s and 16 X’s to break the record of Ukraine’s Lina Herasymenko (673, in 1996).
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The other Korean duo of Jang Minhee (677) and world record holder Kang Chaeyoung (675) were second and third, with Alejandra Valencia of Mexico on 674.
Deepika had a decent start to match as the archer accumulated 56/60 in the first round and 55/60 in the second which landed her in the 10th position in the field. In the third round, the Indian archer gathered X-X-9-9-9-9 for a total of 56 as she continued to stay in the top 10.
She had a major disappointment in fourth round as she slipped down to 14th with X-X-8-8-8-7 for a score of 51. But she soon roared back in the next round with her highest score in the match, X-10-10-10-10-9 for a total of 59. Notably, none of the archers at that time had shot a 59 round. Deepika then proceeded to climb to 4th at the end of the first half with a brilliant X-10-10-9-9-9 for a total of 57.
Pravin Jadhav gathered 656 points out of a possible 720, hitting 22 10s and 5 X’s in his 72 arrows while Das and Rai ended with 653 and 652 points in the field.
Atanu endured a challenging day as he kept moving up and down the leaderboard throughout the event. The 29-year-old started his day well but was down to 29th place after he was not able to shot a 10 in fourth, meanwhile Jadhav gained his ground to 30th in the same round.
Tough draw for Mary Kom
In boxing, six-time world champion MC Mary Kom, who is hoping to add another medal to her bronze from London 2012 as a final flourish, has been handed a tough draw.
Mary Kom will open her campaign with a first round clash with Dominica’s Miguelina Hernandez in the women’s 51kg category but will face a tough ask in the Round of 16 as she is likely to meet third seed and Rio Olympics bronze medallist Ingrit Valencia of Colombia.
If she gets past Ingrit, the 38-year-old veteran is scheduled to face second seed Yuan Chang of China, the winner of the Olympic Boxing Qualifiers in Jordan last year.
Among the other Indian boxers, Amit Panghal, the top seed in men’s flyweight (51kg) has got a bye in the first round. Simranjit Kaur (women’s 60kg), Lovlina Borgohain (69kg) and Satish Kumar (+91kg) have got first-round byes.
Vikas Krishan will open his third campaign in the Olympics with a match against a strong opponent in Japan’s Okazawa Quincy Mensah in the middleweight (65kg) category.
If he gets past his first round opponent, Vikas, the 2018 Asian Games gold medallist, will meet two-time Olympic medallist Roniel Iglesias of Cuba.
Woman boxer Pooja Rani too has also drawn a difficult opponent in Algeria’s Ichrak Chaib in the women’s 75kg (July 28). In the quarter final, Pooja could meet Rio Olympics bronze medallist and second seed Li Qian of China.
- With inputs from agencies