The Indian men’s archery team of Pravin Jadhav, Atanu Das and Tarundeep Rai downed Kazakhstan 6-2 to set up a quarterfinal clash against heavyweights Korea at the Tokyo Olympics in Japan on Monday.
The Indians were strong, especially Atanu Das who drilled in six perfect 10s to play a crucial role in team’s win at the Yumenoshima Park.
The Kazakhstan troika of Denis Gankin, Ilfat Abdullin, Sanzhar Mussayev showed flashes of brilliance. They took the third set with one point margin.
Das made all the difference by hitting six perfect 10s including two Xs to make up for some inconsistent show by the Army duo of Rai and Jadhav.
The Guatemala City World Cup gold medallist Das looked calm and composed and showed tremendous resilience to bounce back after finishing a lowly 35th, four places behind Olympic debutant Jadhav, in the ranking round on the opening day.
The poor finish had resulted in Das’ removal from the mixed team where his wife Deepika Kumari paired up with Jadhav and made a quarterfinal exit following defeat against Korea on Saturday.
Trailing by two points at the halfway mark of the first set, Jadhav and Das finished with two superb arrows, drilling in X each to edge out their Kazakhstan rivals by one point.
There were gusts of wind in the second set and the Army duo of three-time Olympian Rai and debutant Jadhav were wobbly picking 8 and 7 each, but Das made up for it with a perfect 10 and a 9 to give the side a commanding 4-0 lead.
It was some high class shooting in the third set after the Kazakhstan team stepped it up with three perfect 10s as the Indians too matched them riding on two 10s by Das but an 8 by Rai cost them the set.
The Kazakh team showed intent to bring the match on an even keel but the Indian trio did not concede an inch and sealed the issue with two 10s from Jadhav and Das.