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Tokyo Olympics: Improving Deepika Kumari keeps medal hopes alive | Tokyo Olympics News – Times of India

July 29, 2021
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Deepika Kumari kept India’s hopes for a maiden Olympic medal in archery alive by making the pre-quarterfinals of the women’s individual category in Tokyo on Wednesday. In what could turn into a picture-perfect scenario for India, Deepika’s husband Atanu Das will join her in this podium dream on Thursday, when the Kolkata man opens his individual campaign against Deng YuCheng of Chinese Taipei in the round of 64.
However, Das’ teammates Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav made second-round exits on Wednesday.
Although Jharkhand girl Deepika had an easy opening round, getting past Bhutan’s Karma 6-0 almost without breaking a sweat, her scores were not up to the mark as she managed just 26, 26 and 27 points in the three-set contest.
In spite of facing almost no pressure against her World No. 193 opponent, Kumari managed just one 10 in her nine shots. Karma, Bhutan’s flag-bearer at the opening ceremony, also hit one 10 but ended up with belowpar scores of 23, 23 and 24 in the three sets to go down tamely.
Deepika, the World No. 1 women’s archer, improved her performance in the next round, overcoming the fighting US teenager Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez 6-4 at the floodlit Yumenoshima Park.

Deepika once again made a poor start with scores of 7, 9, 9 to lose the first set 26-25. However, she bounced back strongly with two consecutive 10s to take the second set 28-25. She kept the momentum going, opening the third set with another 10 and ending up scoring 27, which was a good two points more than her rival.
But she could not seal the match in the next set, hitting a poor six that allowed the 18-yearold American to win it 25-24 and tie the scores at 4-4. However, it was Fernandez who failed to force a tie-break after she managed just a nine in her final arrow, when a 10 could have equalled the scores. The 27-yearold Indian was again below-par, hitting two 9s and an 8.
Olympic debutant Jadhav showed promise in knocking out World No. 2 Galsan Bazarzhapov of Russian Olympic Committee 6-0 in his opening round, only to run into World No. 1 Brady Ellison in the second round. In spite of the American not in his best of forms, Jhadav lost in straight sets 0-6.
The Nashik archer failed to capitalize on his chances after Ellison hit two 9s and one 8 to score an ordinary 26 points in the third set. But Jhadav ended up with 23 only with two 8s and one seven. He lost the first two sets by one point only, going down 27-28 and 26-27.
His senior Army colleague Tarundeep Rai showed fine form as he rallied to beat Oleksii Hunbin of Ukraine in the opening round. Rai came back from being 2-4 down to win it 6-4. But he failed to keep the momentum against Itay Shanny of Israel to go down in a tight shoot-off. Rai made a slow start, losing the first set 24-28, but he recovered to win the second 27-26 and tie the third 27-27. He took a 5-3 lead in the fourth set but lost the fifth 27-28 by hitting all 9s while his rival found two 10s. Shanny, Israel’s first Olympic archer, showed nerves of steel as he hit a 10 in the shoot-off to prevail





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