Asian Games archery: Deotale to meet Verma in all-Indian gold medal clash

Abhishek Verma
Abhishek Verma celebrates his win over South Korea's Jaehoon Joo. Photo: PTI/Shailendra Bhojak

Hangzhou: An exuberant Ojas Deotale set up an all-Indian final against the experienced Abhishek Verma in the men's compound event to confirm the first-ever individual gold medal for the country in archery at the Asian Games here on Tuesday.

On a day when the recurve archers ended their campaign in individual sections following the painful exits of Atanu Das and Dhiraj Bommadevara, Deotale, Verma and seasoned Jyothi Surekha Vennam led the charge in compound section to assure India of three medals.

It also matched their best-ever haul of 2014 Asian Games in Incheon where they had won a gold, silver and bronze each.

Seventeen-year-old Aditi Swami, who is the reigning senior world champion, will fight for a bronze after losing to her 'role model' Jyothi in the women's compound individual semifinal.

The Indian archers also remained in the hunt for a podium finish in six more team events -- three each in recurve and compound -- having already advanced into the quarterfinals on Monday.

Fresh from winning the senior World Championship crown in Berlin two months' back, Deotale was up against South Korean seventh-seed Yang Jaewon.

But the 21-year-old Indian did not give his rival any chance, blazing his way to all perfect 10s from 15 arrows.

Seven of Deotale's 15 perfect 10s were closer to the centre (X) as the Indian youngster celebrated his thumping 150-146 win by waving to the crowd.

 Jyothi Surekha Vennam
Jyothi Surekha Vennam in action. Photo: PTI/Shailendra Bhojak

He will face Verma, who will be looking to upgrade his 2014 silver medal in what appears to be his last Asian Games appearance.

The 34-year-old Verma evicted another South Korean, top-seed Joo Jaehoon with a clinical 147-145 win.

In the women's compound individual semifinal, Jyothi used all her experience to prevail over her younger teammate Aditi.

Eyeing her first individual gold at the Asian Games, the 27-year-old multiple World Cup medallist will face So Chaewon of South Korea in the final.

Jyothi has never won a gold medal at the Asian Games. She has one silver (2018) and a bronze (2014), both coming in team events.

Aditi, on the other hand, will fight for the bronze medal against Ratih Zilizati Fadhly of Indonesia.

Overall, the Indian archers are in medal hunt in 10 events, including four in individual sections.

Leading by one-point after four ends, 17-year-old Aditi misfired an arrow into the seven-point ring in the final round to gift a 149-146 win to her 'idol' Jyothi.

It was a big relief for the 27-year-old Jyothi, who had lost to Aditi in the World Championships in Berlin in August this year.

Both of them shot 60 out of 60 in their first six arrows, before Jyothi slipped a bit in the third end by dropping a point.

Aditi kept shooting in the 10-ring at ease before she slipped in the final end which cost her the match.

Earlier in the day, Verma overcame a late challenge from Kazakhstan's Andrey Tyutyun to win an intense shoot-off and enter the semifinal.

Leading 60-57 after two ends, Verma slipped as his Kazakh rival bounced back to level 147-147 and forced a shoot-off.

Both the archers shot a 10, but the Indian was adjudged the winner -- 147-147 (10*-10) -- as his arrow was closer to the centre.

Deotale, on the other hand, shot an incredible 150 out of 150 to breeze past Akbarali Karbayev of Kazakhstan in the last-eight round.

Fourth seeded Aditi dropped just one point from 15 arrows to eliminate Amaya Amparo Cojuangco of Phillipines 149-146 in the quarterfinals, while Jyothi ousted ninth seed Adel Zhexenbinova of Kazakhstan 147-144.

The comments posted here/below/in the given space are not on behalf of Onmanorama. The person posting the comment will be in sole ownership of its responsibility. According to the central government's IT rules, obscene or offensive statement made against a person, religion, community or nation is a punishable offense, and legal action would be taken against people who indulge in such activities.