Deepika keeps archery medal hopes alive

Tokyo, Jul 28 (PTI): World number one archer Deepika Kumari survived some anxious moments before getting past US teenager Jennifer Mucino-Fernandez 6-4 to sail into the pre-quarterfinals of the women’s individual section and keep Indian medal hopes alive at the Tokyo Olympics here on Wednesday.
On a day her teammates Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav made second round exits, Deepika seemed to feel the pressure initially as she started off hitting the red-zone, capping a poor seven at the floodlit Yumenoshima Park.
Deepika lost the first set by one point but she bounced back strongly with three 10s in a row to take a 4-2 lead. She, however, failed to wrap up the match in the fourth set as she misfired a six in her second arrow. The 18-year-old American made it 4-4, winning the set by one-point (25-24). In the winner-takes-all fifth set, Deepika had two 9s to start with before finishing with a poor 8.
Needing a 10 in her last arrow to force a shoot-off, Jennifer signed off with a nine in what was a promising campaign for the American teenager.
Deepika’s husband Atanu Das is the only other Indian left in the fray. The India No 1, who slipped to 35th place in the ranking, begins his campaign against Deng Yu-Cheng of Chinese Taipei in his opening round of 64 match on Thursday.
Earlier, Deepika sailed into the second round with a facile 6-0 win over lower-ranked Karma of Bhutan in her opening match.
World number 193 Karma, the flag bearer of Bhutan — a country where archery is national sport — during the opening ceremony, had poor scores of 23, 23 and 24 in the third set where she managed a 10.
The Indian also had a slow start, scoring 26 each in the first two sets, before she picked up with a 27 to seal her last-32 berth.

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