Returning from a prolonged layoff, defending champion Tarundeep Rai produced his best along with country’s Olympic hope Deepika Kumari to top their respective qualification rounds as India reigned supreme in recurve archery competitions of the 12th South Asian Games here today.
India also topped in the compound section with Abhishek Verma and Purvasha Shende claiming the honours in men’s and women’s sections respectively at the Polo ground.
Following the Asian Games protocol, two archers from each country made the cut into the elimination round as India’s Olympian archer Jayanta Talukdar made an exit with promising Army archer Gurucharan Besra (666 points) making the last-16 along with topper Tarundeep, who logged 676.
The next best was Bangladeshi Sojeb Shiek who had a score of 653 to finish third in the men’s recurve.
Having finished top two, the Indian duo will get a bye into the quarters as they also topped the team event along with Jayanta Talukdar as the hosts will get a bye into the semifinals of the team event which has a draw of eight.
In the women’s recurve event, former world number one Deepika lived up to her expectation to finish top along with Bombayla Devi Laishram with scores of 668 and 646 respectively as Laxmirani Majhi, who had won the national ranking here in January, failed to make the cut.
Laxmirani with scores of 632 joined Deepika and Bombayla in the team event as India also topped in the women’s recurve section.
However, there was disappointment for reigning champions India as they had to be content with a goalless draw against lower-ranked Maldives in the women’s football competition, the only other discipline that kicked off the Shillong leg of the SAG here.