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Tokyo Olympics: Archer Atanu Das crashes out after losing to Takaharu Furukawa, India's campaign ends

Das failed to find a 10 in the fifth set and slipped to the red-circle for an 8 that proved costly as Furukawa sealed the issue by one point margin in the decider.

Published: 31st July 2021 09:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st July 2021 10:06 AM   |  A+A-

Veteran Indian archer Atanu Das. (Photo | AP)

By PTI

TOKYO: An Olympic medal in archery remained elusive for India.

A day after his world number one wife Deepika Kumari choked in the last-eight stage against eventual gold medallist An San of Korea, Atanu Das exited in the pre-quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics here on Saturday.

Das, who knocked out London Olympics gold medallist Oh Jin Hyek in the last-32, failed to overcome home favourite Takaharu Furukawa, a silver winner in the 2012 edition, and lost 4-6 in an intense five-setter.

Returning to action a day after his stunning shoot-off win over the Korean heavyweight, Das had two loose arrows in the 8-ring in the first set that proved costly in the end, and Furukawa prevailed by just one point in the decider to seal a thrilling win.

"In the Olympics, every match is different, the situation, mindset, everything is different. I don't want to compare (with the match against Oh). I tried but it's okay I failed," Das said after the loss.

"Maybe, I took too much tension, it's a game we have to deal with. Next time, I will try harder."

The lone Indian in medal contention on the concluding day of archery events at the Yumenoshima Park, Das looked under pressure and his inconsistency did him in.

Das hit four perfect 10s but also misfired as many in the 8-ring to suffer a second successive pre-quarterfinal loss in the Olympics.

In his maiden Olympics at Rio 2016, Das had lost by an identical 4-6 margin to former Korean world champion Lee Seungyun, a team gold medallist at the Games.

The 29-year-old conceded the opening set, hitting the red circle twice as Furukawa won it 27-25.

He finally found a 10 in his first arrow of the second set but that was not enough as the home athlete also matched him, shooting an identical 28-28, and the Indian trailed 1-3.

Both players then shot two 8s but the Indian prevailed, drilling in two 10s to see it locked at 3-3.

There was more drama in store as the duo shot an identical 9-10-9 in the fourth set to take it to the decider after being tied 4-4.

Both had 9s in their opening arrows but Das, who was shooting first, slipped to another 8 and failed to find a 10, as Furukawa clinched it by a slender 27-26 margin in the deciding fifth set.

Das' compatriots Pravin Jadhav and Tarundeep Rai had already exited the competition.

India had made quarterfinal exits in both the men's team and mixed pair events, going down to Korea in their respective matches.

"We need proper planning and strategy to excel at these Games. We have learnt a lot and it's about keeping your nerves stable. Looking forward to the World Championship and World Finals now," Das concluded.

The Archery federation is looking at a "fresh start", shifting the national camp of recurve team from Pune to Sonepat where they will hold a two-day selection trials on August 4-5.

This will mean the four recurve archers in Tokyo, who are slated to arrive on August 2, will get one-day's time in between before heading to Sonepat where the trials will happen for the Yankton World Championships slated from September 19-26.

Atanu Das is the only Indian remained in the hunt for a medal in the individual event at the Tokyo Games, as his world number one wife Deepika Kumari on Friday made a quarterfinal exit losing to eventual winner An San of Korea in straight sets.

The men's and the mixed pair teams were earlier knocked out by the Koreans in their respective quarterfinal matches.

"One Olympic cycle has just ended. This World Championship is the first tournament for the next Olympic cycle (Paris 2024). We want to start afresh and give everyone fair chances," AAI secretary general Pramod Chandurkar told PTI.

"They had camp in (Army Sports Institute) Pune for a long time before the Olympics. For the time being, we will hold the camp in Sonepat then we will take a call."

Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav and 39-year-old Army veteran Tarundeep Rai who has already announced his retirement after the Olympics, are the three male archers of the Indian team.

Deepika Kumari was the lone female member from India after the women's team failed to qualify for the Olympics.

"We don't want disturb the balance of the team atmospheres but at the same time we want to give opportunity to the emerging talents. We may see a third archer emerging from the trial," Chandurkar said.

Originally the trial was slated in mid August but fresh Visa guidelines from the Yankton local organising committee forced the AAI to advance the dates.

"It will be a bit of trouble for the Tokyo archers but there was no other way as the LOC wanted the passport details immediately to meet the Visa guidelines of USA."

The Indian team's chief coach Lim Bahadur Gurung, who is also retiring later this year, is also likely to be changed.

"It will depend on the archers making the cut for the World Championships. Archery being an individual sport, the archers have the say in picking the coach."

SAI Centre of Excellence in Sonepat has been the practice venue for compound archers for a long time.

The compound archers will be the first to go for trials from August 2-3.

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