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Olympics: India men bow out, Deepika now lone hope

Posted on Jul 31, 11:06PM | IANS

India's challenge in men's individual archery event at the London Olympics came to an unceremonious end with all three participants crashing out in eliminators here Tuesday.

Chekrovolu Swuro suffered a similar fate in the women's individual clash to join her team mate Bombayla Devi, who bowed out of contention a day back.

Teenage sensation Deepika Kumari, now World No.1, is the only Indian archer left in the competition.

The Jharkhand girl, considered a medal prospect, would now take aim in an eliminator at the iconic Lords ground Wednesday in the country's final chance to make an impact in the podium finishes from the sport.

Among the men's archers on show Tuesday, Rahul Banerjee and Tarundeep Rai won their first knock out battles, but both seemed error-prone as they went down in their respective second eliminators.

The other male representative Jayanta Talukdar and Swuro made their exits in the opening round.

Banerjee outclassed Mongolian Jantsan Gantugs 6-0 while Rai staged a remarkable rally from 1-5 down to level at 5-5 on set points before winning the shoot-out against Cuban Juan Carlos Stevens by a single point (9-8) in their opening contests.

But Kolkata boy Banerjee's joy was shortlived as he went down to Rafal Dobrowolski of Poland 3-7 in the second knock-out round tie later in the day.

Banerjee could have made the score tied at 5-5, but for two poor eights with his last two shots that sealed his fate.

Facing the 21-year-old South Korean Kim Bubmin, who played superbly shooting seven ten-pointers, Rai could only manage to win the third set after conceding the first two. In the fourth, Rai started off with two poor eights, and eventually lost. The Indian got only two ten-pointers.

Earlier, Talukdar and Swuro lost to their respective American opponents in contrasting fashion to exit the competition.

Talukdar got a 0-6 hammering from Jacob Wukie in the opening men's individual elimination round while Swuro was sent packing after being pipped in the shoot-off by Jennifer Nichols.

Talukdar was outplayed by Wukie, who won the silver for the US in the team event.

The American shot six 10 pointers in the maximum nine arrows while Talukdar was able to hit the bulls-eye just once.

In the women's eliminator, the score was 5-5 going into the shoot-off, where a single arrow on either side decides the tie. Both Nichols and Swuro shot a nine but the American had the last laugh as her arrow was found closer to the centre of the target.

However, before going to the shootout, the the Nagaland archer could have wrapped up the tie in the fifth and final set itself. But needing a 10 for victory, she waited and trembled before managing a six.

Indian men's team went out of medal reckoning event after losing their opening eliminator to Japan. The highly-rated women were humbled by Denmark in their first knock-out match.