Star scorer Abhishek Verma stunned American Chris Schaff in the heavyweight division to take a gold medal in the 3rd stage of the World Cup in archery here on Saturday.
In the last neck-to-neck clash, the duo dropped just two points to lock 148 – all after the five ends of the regulation.
World No. 5 Schaff started the shot with a nine, and Verma, showing off her nerves of steel, finished the race in style with the perfect 10 to open the score for India.
This was the second individual gold medal at the Verma World Cup. The 32-year-old Indian last won an individual medal in 2015 at Stage 3 of the World Cup in Wroclaw.
“It’s archery, it’s all about hits and misses. My heart rate picked up, so I just calmed down and kept my focus on the next arrow,” Verma said of the intense final.
Earlier, Verma beat Anton Bulaev of Russia 146-138 to make his first World Cup final after Salt Lake City 2018, where he finished with silver.
Starting with 29, the Indian lost by one point, as Bulaev shot in three perfect 10s.
But Verma bounced hard with another 29 in the third before stepping up at the penultimate end with three perfect 10s.
Heading to the end with a three-point lead, Verma finished it in style with three 10s, including one closest to the center (X).
India is looking for three more medals in the team event, an individual and mixed doubles competition scheduled for Sunday with world number 3 Deepika Kumari, a hat-trick with gold medals.