Incheon: In what turned out to be a fruitful day for the Indian archers in the 17th Asian Games, Abhishek Verma settled for a silver after going down to Esmaeil Ebadi of Iran in the compound men's individual gold medal match here on Saturday.
Verma was beaten by his Iranian opponent by a narrow 141-145 margin at the Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field here. While Ebadi had shot 10 perfect 10s to his credit, the Indian had scored just eight.
The Indian archer was always playing a catching up game in the finals, as he had 112 points at the end of the fourth round, as against 115 points of his opponent.
In the fifth and final round, the Iranian shot three perfect 10s, leaving the Indian no chance of making a comeback.
"We went to Salt Lake City in the USA and trained under top coach De Wilde for 15 days. Then we came and trained in South Korea in different weather conditions at Gwangju which is four hours' drive from here for a month before reaching here for the Games," said Singh, a former junior national champion.
Verma, on the other hand, said, "I knew how to perform under pressure after losing in the World Cup final. We are all delighted to win the gold. We were not overawed by our opponents."
"We have been preparing for this for two years. This is our biggest ever victory," said Haryana-born Army Sports Institute (Pune) naik subedar Sandeep Kumar who took up the sport only after joining the services ranks three years ago.
The Indians led the Koreans right through the gold medal contest. The wind direction kept shifting but the trio held its composure to emerge on top. The Indians led 55-54 after the first set of six arrows from each team, were ahead 113-111 after the second set, held on to the lead by two points (171-169) before a horrid 7 from one of the Korean team members in the fourth and final set virtually sealed the gold in their favour.
After the first set of three arrows had been fired by both the teams in the last set, India were ahead by three points (199-196) thanks to the shocking 7 shot by the Koreans.
Though the host team did slightly better than India (29-28) in the last round of three arrows, the lead was too big to bridge.
Trisha Deb wins bronze:
Trisha Deb won a bronze in the compound women's individual event in the Asian Games to boost India's tally in archery.
Trisha won 138-134 against Chinese Taipei's Huang I Jou. The Indian was lucky to finish on the podium given that she was trailing her rival till the last arrow.
After scoring perfect 10s in the fourth round, Jou fumbled in the fifth and final round as she managed to garner just 18 points against the Indian's 25. The last round completely turned the contest in the closing stages and the Indian girl walked away with a third-place finish....