CHENNAI: The medal count for India’s compound archers keep swelling by the day. In Saturday’s World Cup Stage 4 final in Berlin, the women’s team of Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Trisha Deb and Muskan Kirar settled for silver, losing 228- 229 to favourites France. On way to the silver, the team pipped Great Britain in the opening round, beat higher-ranked USA as well as top seeds Turkey. Jyothi and Muskan were part of the team that won silver in Stage 2 in Antalya earlier this year. Later in the day, the mixed pair of Jyothi and Abhishek Verma clinched bronze after defeating Turkey 156-153. The duo have now won bronze medals in the mixed team event at each of the four World Cup stages this year. This was India’s seventh medal overall this year.
Apart from one gold in recurve, all medals have come from the compound contingent, including three silver medals. All this bodes well ahead of the Asian Games. “Best way to prepare for such a big event is by winning medals. We have now won medals in each stage this year. These results give us confidence that we are heading in the right direction. Now we will head back to India and prepare in the best way possible for the Asian Games,” Jyothi told Express from Berlin.
A lot is expected from Jyothi and Abhishek, as they are the senior- most members of the women’s and men’s team. Abhishek has now won 10 World Cup medals overall, five of them coming this year, including an individual silver at Salt Lake City. He also qualified for the World Cup Final to be held in Samsun, Turkey. The only worrying aspect may be the fact that gold has eluded them despite the dominance. In Saturday’s final as well, the women were leading until the third round when they crumbled under pressure.
The same had happened in Antalya where they had lost to Chinese Taipei by three points. They will have to wait another year to attempt to win their first gold in this segment. “I don’t think it’s because we cannot handle the pressure. Such things happen and there are a lot of factors in play including external ones. We are close and that is what counts going into the final stretch of preparations,” Jyothi added. The team will now head back to India where they will train under new foreign coach Sergio Pagni. And the mental aspect of things will be looked into at that time. “He is a good mental trainer and it will help the archers, especially the younger lot, how to handle the pressure,” Abhishek said. firstname.lastname@example.org