Archery WC: Couple Atanu Das, Deepika Kumari win golds, India finish with 4 medals

Guatemala City: Star archery couple Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das claimed two individual gold medals as India ended the Archery World Cup Stage I with four medals – three golds and a bronze, here.

Former world No 1 and Olympian Deepika Kumari won two golds – winning the women’s team and the individual women’s recurve events. Her husband and India No 1 Atanu Das claimed the men’s individual recurve gold while also winning the mixed team bronze with Ankita Bhakat.

The two are now automatically qualified for this season’s most-coveted Archery World Cup Final.

‘We travel together, train together, compete together and win together,’ Das, who got married to Deepika in June last year after a two-year courtship, said after claiming the gold medal on Sunday.

‘She knows what I like, and I know what she likes,’ he added.

The four medals capped off India’s best performance at the Archery World Cup.

India started the day with the women’s trio of Deepika, Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari winning the first team gold after seven years. The Indian trio was up against Mexico’s Ana Vazquez, Alejandra Valencia and Aida Roman in the final.

India outshot Mexico 57-56 to take the first set before the latter hit back with identical scores 57-55 to win the next two sets. With the pressure on them, the Indian team shot three nines and three 10s in the final set to come back in style to win 57-52 and force a shoot-off.

This was India’s fifth recurve women’s team gold at an Archery World Cup. They had previously won in Shanghai 2011, Medellin 2013 and at Wroclaw in 2013 and 2014.

Deepika then saw off Alejandra Valencia 7-3 for a second time in the women’s individual recurve semis. Up against USA’s Mackenzie Brown in the final, she won two sets, lost two more and tied one to set up a second shoot-off of the day for gold and came up clutch once again.

This was Deepika’s third World Cup gold medal after Antalya 2012 and Salt Lake 2018.

Meanwhile, Atanu Das claimed his first-ever World Cup medal, beating Spain’s Daniel Castro 6-4 in the men’s individual recurve final to win gold. It was India’s first individual men’s recurve gold in the World Cup since Jayanta Talukdar won in 2009.

Das’ previous best in the individual section has been a fourth place finish in Antalya 2016 where he lost to Kim Woojin in the bronze playoff.

This was Atanu’s second medal of the day after he had earlier claimed bronze with Ankita Bhakat in the mixed recurve team, beating Americans Brady Ellison and Casey Kaufhold 6-2.

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