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Indian women’s archery team crash out of quarter-finals

The Indian women’s archery team progressed to the quarter-finals before losing to Russia in a shoot-off and made its exit while the hockey squad fought back to hold Japan to a draw on day two of the Rio Games on late Sunday night.

It was Bombayla Devi Laishram's consistency that helped India book a berth in the last eight.

In the shooting range, 22-year-old Heena Sidhu misfired along with men trap shooters Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Kynan Chenai who finished 17th and 19th respectively after the first day.

The women’s archery team of Laishram Bombayla Devi, Laxmirani Majhi and Deepika Kumari made the quarters of the recurve event by edging out Colombia 5-3.

This was the first time the women archers had advanced to round two after their poor display in London four years ago when Denmark ousted them in round one. Bombayla and Deepika were part of that team.

The trio then faced off against 2012 Games semifinalists Russia, bounced back after losing the opening set before the two teams level-pegged to force the tie-breaker in which the Russian women showed better nerves even as the Indian trio lost the plot to lose it 23-25 and be eliminated.

Struggle against Colombia

India kept itself in the hunt in the team event of women’s archery as the trio of Laxmirani Majhi, Bombayla Devi and Deepika Kumari turned lucky in the elimination 1/32 stage match against Colombia on Sunday.

The team won 5-3.

The Indians will feel relieved, especially Deepika and Bombayla, who were part of the team that lost to Denmark in the opening round at the 2012 London Games.

The trio of Deepika, Bombayla and Laxmirani were not at their best, but managed to prevail over an even more erratic Colombian team.

The two teams were on even keel at 3-3 after first three sets and the turning point came in the final set.

Needing 28 points off the final three arrows to overtake India’s total of 52, Colombian archer Caroline Aguirre lost control and the misdirected arrow fetched her only three points, much to the relief of the Indian camp.

The Indians won the set 52-44, getting the crucial two points for winning the set and taking an unassailable 5-3 lead.

However, it wasn’t a great performance from the Indian girls as they could hit the perfect 10 only twice — Bombayla in the first set and Deepika in the third.

Poor start

Deepika, India’s biggest hope in archery, was not in her element as she started poorly, hitting a 7 with the final arrow of the first set which India managed to win by a point.

The Jharkhand girl performed no better in the second set, striking a couple of 7s, but found form in the last two sets, where she hit a 10 along with three arrows which fetched 9 each. Bombayla was the most consistent, with a single 8 pointer, five shots of 9 and a perfect 10.

Though it was not an impressive performance, India made its first-ever entry into the round of last eight.

India will meet Russia in the last-eight phase.