Incheon, Sep 27 (PTI) Indian archers scripted history in the Asian Games today when the compound men’s team shot its way to a maiden gold medal by shocking favourites South Korea before squad member Abhishek Verma picked up the individual silver even as women added two bronze to the tally.
The women’s trio had set the tone in the morning by clinching the compound team bronze by defeating Iran in the play-off for the third position at the Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field. Later, Trisha Deb bagged a bronze in the individual event.
India had won one silver and three bronze medals from the bow and arrow discipline in past Games and today’s gold lifted the sagging spirits of the huge contingent which had endured a gold drought after pistol shooter Jitu Rai’s top finish six days ago.
India defied odds to shock world archery powerhouse Korea 227-225 in the gold medal clash.
The men’s trio of Rajat Chauhan, Sandeep Kumar and Abhishek Verma worked wonderfully well in unison to lead their formidable hosts — the world silver medalists — right through the 24-arrow finals to emerge triumphant by two points (227-225) in the non-Olympic Compound event which has made its debut here.
This was the second medal of the day from the venue, and came just one hour after the young Indian women’s trio of Trisha Deb, Purvasha Shende and Jyothi Surekha Vennam clinched the bronze medal by winning the play-off against Iran 224-217.
Later Verma fought gamely in the gold medal match against Iran’s Ebadi Esmaeil 141-145. Two 8s by the Indian in his first nine arrows led to his downfall as the Iranian nosed ahead and kept the lead to win the gold.
The superb display of the compound team made up to some extent the disappointing show put up by the recurve team of better known archers so far at these Games.
“We have been noticing India’s position on the medals table every day and were determined to win the gold today. We are delighted to have done it,” said Jaipur-based Chauhan who claimed he had failed in 12th standard exams on four occasions.
Coach Ranjan Singh, from Manipur, hailed the preparations of the team ahead of the Games as one of the reasons for the result.