Indian archers — Atanu Das, Pravin Jadhav and Tarundeep Rai — finished with rankings outside the top-30 in the individual mens ranking round on the opening day of the Tokyo Olympics, at the Yumenoshima Ranking Field on Friday.
On a day when the youngest archer in the event, Korea’s 17-year-old Kim Je Deok took the top spot with 688 points, the trio of Das, Jadhav and Rai endured a day full of a few ups and many downs.
Jadhav, in his Olympics debut, was the highest-ranked Indian archer at 31, while Das ranked 35th and Rai 37th with final scores of 656, 653 and 652, respectively. Team-wise, the troika ended up ninth in the field of 12, just above Great Britain, Australia and France with a score of 1961.
In mixed team event, India are ninth with a score of 1319 in a field of 16. They were tied with Chinese Taipei score-wise but missed out on eighth spot due to less number of 10s.
There is a possibility of pairing Deepika with Pravin in the mixed team event on the basis of rankings. But the move will mean breaking the husband-wife pair of Deepika and Atanu Das, who won a gold medal together in the World Cup at Paris.
Das started off well with a round of 58 and fifth ranking. But he slipped to 14th in the second round, scoring 54. With 56 in the third round, Das moved to 11th. He suffered a fall again when he got 52 in the fourth round, without any 10s, pushing him to 29th.
At the half-way mark, Das was at 31 with 329. Jadhav, who rose from 40th to 30th, was the better-placed archer. Rai could never go beyond 31 in his first half.
The second half saw Das start well with 55 and 56. But four scores of 8 saw him get 52, slipping from 26th to 30th.
Though Das bounced back with 56, he followed it up with another 52 in the second-last round, including a shocking score of five on the final arrow. He ended his day with 53 in the final round bereft of 10s.
Jadhav went ahead of Das in the fifth round and maintained his lead over him till the end of the competition except in the eighth round.
According to the seedings, Tarundeep Rai will face Oleksii Hunbin of Ukraine, Atanu Das will face off against Deng Yu-cheng of Chinese Taipei and Pravin Jadhav will be up against Galsan Bazarzhapov of the Russian Olympic Committee in Round One of the individual elimination event.
In the team and mixed events, India’s Round One opponents will be Kazakhstan and Chinese Taipei respectively. But they will run into South Korea, who have been dominant in the ranking rounds, in the quarterfinals of both events.