The Indian men's team, which finished 11th in the qualification round of the Archery World Championships here Monday, will have to win two matches to secure Tokyo Olympics berths. Two-time Olympian Tarundeep Rai, a silver medallist at the 2005 Madrid World Championships, shot 676 to secure the best finish (11th) among the Indians, while his young Army colleague Pravin Jadhav was next best at 31st place with a score of 673.
But the biggest let down was the top-ranked Indian, Atanu Das, as the Rio Olympics pre-quarterfinalist shot 666 for a poor 50th position, which cost the team a top-eight finish that would have helped them secure a bye into the round of 16. India (2015 points) were just three points behind Great Britain who got a bye into the pre-quarters and will now have to overcome 22nd seed Norway and then sixth seed Canada to secure the Olympic quota places in the men's recurve.
The 35-year-old Rai, an Asian Games individual silver medallist in 2010, however, was not worried about the qualification ranking and backed the team to come good in the elimination round. "We are confident of securing an Olympic berth. I think the scores are good enough. Results of elimination round matches are completely different than that of qualifications," the Army archer said.
"We have a strong team of youth and experience. Das is experienced while Pravin is young and in fine form. I'm also giving my best we will all fight to get an Olympic berth," Rai added. The Indian recurve archers, who missed the World Cup Stage I in Medellin, Colombia, had an 11-day acclimatisation camp in Breda, about 38 kilometres from here.
Earlier there was some relief for the archers as they could compete under the India flag following suspension threat by the World Archery. The executive board will meet in a few days to take a call on the suspension of the Archery Association of India for electing two presidents on Sunday.
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