The Indian men’s and women’s recurve teams won bronze medals in their respective sections in the Archery World Cup 2023 Stage 4 at the Olympic Games venue in Paris, France.
The recurve men’s team of Dhiraj Bommadevara, Atanu Das, and Tushar Prabhakar Shelke were the first to seal their place on the podium as they came from behind to beat Spanish trio Pablo Acha, Yun Sanchez, and Andres Temino 6-2 on Thursday.
Spain had defeated fourth seeds USA en route to the last four, but the Indian team ultimately proved a step too far in Paris conditions.
The recurve women’s team of Bhajan Kaur, Ankita Bhakat, and Simranjeet Kaur then repeated the feat with a bronze of its own, as it beat Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia, Angela Ruiz, and Aida Roman in a shoot-off after the teams were locked at 4-4.
The Mexico trio had raced into a 4-0 lead but were reeled back in by India who levelled the scores before an X from Bhajan Kaur sealed the victory in the shoot-off.
The bronze medal bagged by the men’s team in Paris is India’s third medal in Archery World Cup this year, and the archers hailed the influence of coach Sergio Pagni in their post-match interview with World Archery’s official website.
“He’s the finest coach, I have seen,” said the seasoned Atanu Das. “[He’s teaching us] how the mindset works, how archers should shoot in tournaments and practice, how can we train and get better day by day.”
“It’s a perfect example of a good archer because he was an archer too. Our government is supporting us very well at the grassroots level, until the elite level all the way.”
“The government support is very important for us, and we have received so many sponsors and opportunities to train abroad,” Das added.
The Indian women’s team fed on the success of the male counterparts to bag bronze.
“The men’s team won one bronze before us, so we were very motivated to see them, and we just followed their footsteps,” Simranjeet Kaur was quoted as saying by the official website.
In the men’s section, the Republic of Korea and Chinese Taipei qualified for finals in both sections, which will be held on Sunday.