Indian recurve and compound duo of Deepika Kumari and Abhishek Verma have made the cut…
Abhishek Verma gave India a perfect Independence Day gift by clinching the gold medal in the compound men’s individual section to open their account in the Archery World Cup Stage 3 in Poland on Saturday.
Having failed as a team in the bronze play-off earlier in the day, the world number 18 was at his best in the individual final as he held on to his lead to wrap up the issue 148-145 against Esmaeil Ebadi of Iran. The Asian Games silver medallist thus avenged his defeat to Ebadi at the Incheon 2014 in style. India’s recurve mixed pair of Deepika Kumari and Mangal Singh Champia will look to earn the country a second gold when they face their opponents from Mexico on Sunday.
Verma had 13 perfect 10s, including five arrows closest to the centre from 15 arrows, in an extraordinary exhibition of shooting in the summit clash. The Delhi lad had a perfect start to the grudge match when he shot maximum (30) that included one closest to the centre in reply to Ebadi’s 28 in the first end. Continuing his fine form, the 26-year-old had two 10s and one nine to extend his lead by three points after the second end.
The Iranian did not give up as he shot 30 in the third end, but it did not matter to the Indian, who matched his rival and had two closest to the centre en route to a 89-86 lead. Verma had another perfect round of 30 in the fourth end against Ebadi’s 29 for a commanding four-point lead and it was just a formality for the Indian to settle the issue in the fifth and final end.
Ebadi shot maximum in the final end and Verma responded with one point less but that was enough to win the gold.