Despite surging into a 4-0 lead, the Indian women’s recurve archery team of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhi and Rimil Buriuly had to settle for the silver as they lost the World Championship final 4-5 to Russia in an edge-of-the-seat encounter at the Christiansborg Palace in Copenhagen on Sunday.
Later in the day, Laxmirani had an opportunity to grab a bronze in the women’s individual recurve section but she failed to get past her sixth seeded opponent from South Korea, Misun Choi, who won 6-4.
However, it was Choi who started on the backfoot as Laxmi fired scores of 9, 10 and 9 to clinch the first set 28-26. But the South Korean rallied back to take the next set 29-24 as Laxmirani fired a low-key 6-pointer. With momentum on her side, Choi pocketed the third set too 28-27.
It was neck-and-neck again as Laxmirani drew level with 29-27 to be at 4-4. It was heartbreak for the Indian in the last set as she only managed to find an eight with her last arrow. Choi hit the bulls eye and with it captured the bronze.
Earlier in the team event, Russian outfit comprising Inna Stepanova, Ksenia Perova and Tuyana Dashidorzhieva clinched the gold in a nerve-wracking tie-breaker which ended 28-27 in their favour.
The Indian trio were quick to get off the blocks, claiming the first set 56-54. They were again steady in the second set to take it 54-53 and thus take a 4-0 lead.
The Russians slowly got into their groove to pocket two 10 pointers in the third set when they needed them most to edge past the Indians. They claimed the third set 56-52 to come back into the contest at 2-4.
The Indians failed to respond and crumbled under pressure in the fourth set as they hit scores of six, seven and eight. The total they amassed was 50 which was easily surpassed by their rivals who then levelled the contest at 4-4, taking the match into the tie-breaker.
The decider turned out to be a thrilling contest as India’s 10 was matched with another 10 points from Russia.
But an eight-pointer cost India the match as the Russian trio hit two back-to-back nines to clinch the contest and the gold medal.
The silver comes as the second one in as many days after Rajat Chauhan bagged a historic metal. He had put up a tough fight but went down to Stephan Hansen of Denmark in the men’s individual compound final pm Saturday.
Chauhan lost 143-147 but became the first Indian compound archer to win an individual medal at the World Championships. Thus India finish with two silver medals at the Worlds.