9 August : Archers brought cheers with Mangal Singh Champia producing a stand-out performance and the women’s team entering the quarterfinals while ace shooters misfired as India began their Olympics campaign on a mixed note in Beijing on Saturday.
Champia, 24, India’s lone male archer in this edition of the Olympics, finished just one point behind Mexican Juan Serrano, who topped chart scoring 679 points in the ranking round of the individual event of the competition.
In the women’s archery team event, the trio of L Bombayla Devi, Dola Banerjee and Pranitha Vardhineni did enough to ensure that the women’s team, courtesy its sixth place finish in the ranking rounds, got a bye in the first round.
Bombayla (637), Dola (633) and Pranitha (627) came 22nd, 31st and 37th respectively in Saturday’s ranking round and their aggregated tally of 1897 helped India finish among top six sides, which got a bye.
The eves would now take on hosts China (1916), who finished third, straight in the quarterfinals.
The shining performance by the archers came on a day when shooting stars including veterans Anjali Bhagwat and Samresh Jung and debutante Avneet Kaur failing to qualify for the final of their respective events.
However, Manavjit Singh Sandhu hung around for a place in the final of the trap shooting event even though compatriot Mansher Singh has an uphill task to qualify for the last lap for the medal.