The recurve archers continued their woeful run to crash out of the World Cup Stage II in Antalya on Friday, leaving India to restore pride in the non-Olympic compound section where they stand a chance to win three bronze medals.
Former world number one Deepika Kumari proved to be the biggest disappointment as the women’s recurve top seed made a round four exit after losing to 16th seed Lin Shih-Chia of Taipei 5-6.
Locked 5-5 after four sets, Lin clinched the issue in the shoot-off with her arrow closest to the centre.
Olympian Atanu Das was eliminated in round three with a 6-2 loss to Malaysia’s Muhammad Akmal Nor Hasrin.
It was unheralded Dhaniram Basumatary, who fared better and progressed to the quarterfinals, where he was crushed by Jean-Charles Valladont of France 6-0.
It’s been a year when the recurve archers last won a World Cup medal — in Stage III in Antalya in 2016 when Das and Deepika had won a silver in mixed pair.
This is for the second time in a row the recurve team will be returning empty-handed from the World Cup and their prolonged lean patch would be a cause for concern ahead of the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games next year.
India’s hopes in the World Cup Stage II will once again rest on the compound section in the bronze medal playoffs in men’s, women’s and mixed pair sections on Saturday.
The Indian compound women’s team will face Italy, while the men’s trio will take on their opponents from France.
In the mixed pair, Abhishek Verma and Divya Dahal will lock horns with Italy’s Sergio Pagni and Marcella Tonioli.
The men’s compound team had bagged a historic gold at the Stage I meet in Shanghai last month.
Earlier, in a nail-biting contest, Deepika and Lin started off with 27-all before the Taipei archer took a 3-1 lead to take the second set 28-27.
But Deepika snatched the third set 28-24 with 10-9-9 to bring the contest on even keel again.
Refusing to budge, both of them shot identical scores of 27 and 28 in the third and fourth sets for a 5-5 stalemate for an ensuing shoot-off.
Having got a bye into round three, Deepika started off Ukraine’s 32-Veronika Marchenko 6-2.
The 31st seed Monika Saren lost to second seed Peng Chia-Mao of Taipei 1-7 in round three.
It was a battle between the two Indians in the round two of men’s compound section where 23rd seed Chinna Raju-Srither beat 10th seed Verma 147-144 before going down to seventh seed Reo Wilde of USA 143-147.
In the women’s compound section, all three Indians in fray made second round exits.
Jyothi Surekha Vennam lost to Janine Meissner of Germany 139-143, Divya Dahal went down to Erika Anear of Denmark 140-142, while Snehal Mandhare was ousted by Sarah Sonnichsen of Denmark 140-144.