Reeurve’s women’s team of Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari assured India of their first medal in Stage 1 of the World Cup in archery after reaching the final with a direct victory over Spain.
However, the men’s team, which finished third, lost in the quarterfinals to their Spanish rivals 26-27 in a shot after the two teams drew 4-4.
India is also on the hunt for medals in three more events, with newlyweds Atanu Das and Deepika advancing to the playoffs for mixed doubles bronze. The duo will also fight for individual medals, after making the last four in their respective sections.
In the women’s semifinals, the Spanish trio of Elia Canales, Ines De Velasco and Leir Fernandez Infante were unmatched by the original Indians, who broke through consecutive scores of 55, 56 and 55 to seal a 6-0 victory and reach their first final. Shanghai World Cup, 2016
The women’s team will take on the seventh winner of Mexico in the clash with the gold medal on Sunday. They will start solid favorites in an exhausted field without Asian weights Korea, China and Chinese Taipei.
The Indian women’s team has won team gold at the World Cup four times (Shanghai 2011, Medellin 2013, Wroclaw 2013 and 2014), with former world number one Deepika being a constant in every event.
For the women’s team, which has yet to receive an Olympic quota, the victory was a big boost before the last Olympic qualifying competition – stage 3 of the World Cup in Paris in June.
“This (team competition) is very important because we haven’t qualified yet (for the Olympics). That’s why it’s very important to shoot well and improve as quickly as possible,” said Deepika, who is the only Indian Olympic qualifier in the women’s section, said after their semi-final victory.
“If we win, our level of confidence will increase. If we shoot well here, we will gain confidence and we will shoot well at the next event. And then we will gain more confidence and we will shoot better.”
In the quarterfinals, they eliminated hosts Guatemala City with an identical 6-0 difference on Friday at the Los Arcos Sports Complex.
The women’s team has a combination of youth and experience in the former world number one Deepika, Ankita and the ruling world champion under 18 Komalika Bari, the last rising star from Jharkhand.
Komalika said he could shoot without any pressure, as Deepika and Ankita take most of the load.
“I fit in well (in the team) … Now I’m doing better and I feel more confident. They only shoot after 10 seconds and I just have to keep it in the yellow to win,” she said.
Deepika will also be imaginative to add a third individual gold on Sunday, when the No. 3 seed will face seventh sexy Mexican Alejandra Valencia.
She was her best during the quarterfinal victory over Michel Cropen, shooting three sets of 29, 30 and 30 points and would like to take her first gold from the 2018 World Cup in Saltlake City.
In the preliminary quarters, Deepika delivered a fifth set of 29 to draw with Aida Roman and then broke the perfect 10 in the tiebreak.
All eyes will also be on her husband Das, who is vying for his first individual World Cup medal.
Dass’s previous best result in the individual section was finishing fourth in Antalya in 2016, where he lost to Kim Wojin in the bronze playoffs.
Das faces 20-year-old Mexican youth Angel Alvarado in the semifinals, but it is the Dutch heavyweight Steve Wheeler, who will be his biggest opponent.
A former stage winner, world bronze medalist and current world number 4, Wijler will start as an overwhelming favorite for gold in a field that also includes Spaniard Daniel Castro, who debuted in the World Cup.