India’s disastrous campaign in the London Olympics archery competitions came to an unceremonious end with world No.1 Deepika Kumari suffering a shock defeat in the opening women’s individual elimination round at Lord’s here Wednesday.
Jharkhand girl Deepika, rated as India’s brightest medal prospect going into the Olympics, was shown the door by Amy Oliver of Great Britain.
The 18-year-old’s loss completes India’s misery in the London Games where four of the six-member contingent of archers fell flat in the first individual round. Both the men’s and women’s teams also fell at the opening first hurdle.
Deepika suffered a bout of fever after landing in London but that can hardly be an excuse for her below-par performance in the team and individual events.
She struggled with scoring ten-pointers in the team championship and the same trend followed in her match against Amy, who finished way behind at 57th out of 64 contestants in the ranking round. Deepika had taken the eight spot.
The scoreline read 2-6 but Deepika was lucky to win the second set. Amy, needing a nine to go 2-0 up, came up with an unexpected four.
Egged on by a sizeable home crowd, the Briton shot four tens to her rivals none. The touch that helped Deepika win the Antalya World Cup earlier this year was certainly missing here.
Failing to do justice to the pre-tournament buzz around them, the Indians looked lost in the woods as they failed to deliver in pressure situations and on several occasions ended on the losing side after sniffing victory.
In the women’s team contest, the Indian trio of Deepika, Bombayala Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro could not do justice to their standing as the World No.2 team losing the opener to Denmark by a point. Bombayala and Swuro were then eliminated in the first stage of individual competition.
The male archers Rahul Banerjee and Tarundeep Rai were the only ones to win their individual opening battles before bowing out in the second Eliminator. Jayanta Talukdar shot wayward to bite the dust in the very first round.
The team comprising Banerjee, Rai and Talukdar were beaten by Japan in the first round.