India had a chance to win a team gold and an individual bronze on the final day of the prestigious World Archery Championship at Copenhagen but while the recurve team lost to Russia, Laxmirani Majhi went down to the Korean Misun Choi. But the Indian women didn’t gift it away to their opponents and fought until the very end. As a matter of fact, in the team event, Indian archers had a two-set lead but the Russians came back strongly to snatch victory from the Indians and the recurve team of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhi and Rimil Buriuly had to rest content with the silver medal. In the individual recurve bronze medal play-off match, Laxmirani Majhi also began by taking the first set from her Korean opponent but Choi came back with a vengeance to take the next two sets. Not to be outdone, Laxmirani held her nerves to edge past 29-27 in the fourth set but lost out, when she shot 8 instead of the required 10.
On Sunday, India’s women archers started well with the recurve team of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhi and Rimil Buriuly exerted pressure on the fancied Russians by scoring three perfect 10s to a series of 9s by the Russian team of Tuyana Dashidorzhieva, Ksenia Perova and Inna Stepanova. But the Indian team’s lead of 56-54 after first two sets was not enough as the Russians won the next two.. In the third set, Laxmirani and Rimil shot 7 each while Deepika, who shot lost came up with 10. But the since the Indians had made poor start, they lost the third set by two points. As the Indian team came under pressure in the fourth set, Deepika started with 9 and Laxmirani and Rimil once again messed up by shooting a poor 7 and 6 in the fourth and fifth ends respectively. On her turn again, Deepika shot a perfect 10 in the sixth end but the Russians made a comeback to level 4-4 and the contest slipped to the shoot-off. As the shoot-off started Dashidorzhieva’s perfect 10 was matched by Laxmirani but Rimil failed as she shot 8 to Perova’s 9. This brought enormous pressure on Deepika, who had to score a perfect 10 once again as Stepanova shot 9. This was a crunch moment and Deepika ended with 9 and India lost the gold. For Deepika, it was her second silver in the team event. In Turin’s 2011 World Archery Championship, she had teamed up with Chekrovolu Swuro and Laishram Bombayla Devi and taken a team silver.
India’s hopes of adding one more medal at Copenhagen were dashed as woman recurve archer Laxmirani Majhi narrowly lost her duel against Korea’s world no.3 Misun Choi in the bronze medal playoff. Laxmirani Majhi started off with taking the first set 28-26 but the experienced Korean made a remarkable comeback to take the next two sets 29-24, 28-27. However, Laxmirani made another valiant attempt in the fourth set and after winning it 29-27 took the match to the final set. In her last attempt, Laxmirani needed a perfect 10 but she could only score 8 and the bronze medal went to the Korean.
Despite these setbacks on Sunday, Indian archers finished their campaign on a happy note at the 2015 World Archery Championship at Copenhagen. Their overall performance was extremely creditable. Apart from winning the historic silver in individual event, the women’s team also bagged silver in the team event. The Indians also bagged team berth for Rio 2016 in women’s recurve and individual quota in men’s recurve.
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