Asian Games: Atanu, Dhiraj lose in shoot-offs in recurve archery quarterfinals

Hangzhou: India’s campaign in the Recurve Men’s Individual archery competition at the 19 Asian Games came to an end in the quarterfinals here on Tuesday with both Atanu Das and Dhiraj Bomadevara losing to their respective opponents in close shoot-offs.

Atanu Das, the country’s top male recurve archer, suffered a heartbreak defeat to Qi Xiangshuo of China in a shoot-off at the Fuyang Yinhu Sports Centre and also missed an Olympic quota place.

After a slow start when he lost the first set 23-29 as he started with a seven, Das fought back to tie his opponent at 5-5 set points. But in the shoot-off, he shot 10 but the Chinese archer shot into the inner circle (10+) to win the match and claim a berth in the semifinals.

Bommadevara made a strong start but inexplicably missed two shots (failed to score any points off them), allowing Kazakhstan’s Ilfat Abdullah, who himself was very erratic, to twice level scores and take the matter into the shoot-off.

In the shoot-off, Bommadevara shot a 9 while his opponent shot 10 to clinch victory.

It was a match that Dhiraj Bommadevara should have won easily but seems to have lost his nerve at a crucial moment.

Atanu Das said though he lost the match, he was happy to have given his best.

“Victory or defeat is not in our hands. We can’t control our opponent either. We can only control our own actions and emotions. I am happy and sad at the same time because I lost. I am happy because I performed well.”

Das was however disappointed at missing out on a quota place for the Paris Olympic Games.

“My concern was to get the Olympic quota from here. But there is still a chance. I am in the mixed team. But I thought I would give my 100 percent and take the quota.”

He said it was a good experience for him.

“I don’t have anything to say after such a close match. I knew that podium matches are always tough, just like the Olympics. It was a good experience and I handled myself well. I performed as I wanted to. Victory or defeat is not in my hands. I performed well and I left everything to God,” said Das after the setback.

On recovering from a slow start, Das said he did not understand why it happened. “I didn’t understand why it happened in the first round. I don’t know what it is, but it happened in the first set. He felt like I gifted it to him. It was good that I came back from there. My comeback, my thought process, I went in strongly and came out strongly,” he said.


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