- Indian Men's recurve team beat Canada 5-3 to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics.
- All the 3 members will be traveling to Tokyo
- India had last qualified in this manner was for the 2012 London Olympics
The Indian men’s recurve team beat Canada 5-3 to earn a full three-member quota for the upcoming 2020 Olympic Games at the World Archery Championships in Den Bosch, the Netherlands on Wednesday.
The trio of Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai, and Pravin Jadhav took the lead in the first set itself, after edging past Canada by one point. They ultimately finished at 56-55.
In the second set, India maintained the fine show to continue being at the top with a score of 57-56.
However, the Canadians were not going to go out without a fight. They fought back to win the third set 58-54 after India scored a 7 from the last attempt. However, in the fourth set, the teams were tied at 57-57 to bag win a set point each – handing India a victory in the process.
The win also ensures all the three qualifying spots in the men’s individual recurve event for the country in 2020 Olympics.
The team will play against Chinese Taipei in the eighth round of the World Archery Championships. The Asians beat France by 5-4, winning the shoot-off by 29-25.
There were jubilant scenes amongst the team members, especially since this was the first time after the 2012 London Olympics that the Indian men’s team has managed to secure a team quota. They had failed to do so for Rio Games 3 years back. The country only had an individual entry in the form of Atanu Das, who went on to lose in the pre-quarterfinals.
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“We finally made it. We are gelling well as a team and looking forward to Tokyo now. This is the moment to keep going for 2020,” Rai, two-time Olympian and a member of the London Olympics, said.
“I’m sure the opponents were feeling exactly the same pressure. So the key was to keep calm and it worked well for us,” the 35-year-old said.
“We started off very well. I think this the best team we ever made. We worked so hard to get to this point. We did not qualify in the last Olympics. So this is going to be a turning point for Indian archery,” Das said.
The 8 quarter finalists are rewarded with full three-athlete quotas. On the other hand, the top 4 individual athletes from nations who have not qualified in the team event get a single berth for their respective countries.
Unfortunately, the Women’s recurve team couldn’t make it to the Olympic Quota following their defeat to Belarus. Thus, it means that only one member from the team can make it to the Olympics (provided they finish among the top four individual performers).