Indian archer Abhishek Verma returned with an individual silver and a mixed team bronze medal in compound event at stage three of Archery World Cup here after his dream run was halted by world number one Stephan Hansen of Denmark.
Verma, who had posted an emphatic perfect 150 in his semi-final victory over Russia’s Anton Bulaev on his 28th birthday yesterday, could not continue the same momentum and lost to the 2015 World champion and 2017 world silver medallist Hansen 123-140 in a one-sided affair.
Earlier in the day, Verma partnering Jyothi Surekha Vennam beat their opponents from USA in the mixed team bronze medal match 147-140 as Indian compound archers concluded their campaign with one silver and one bronze.
India are also in the hunt for two medals in the recurve section, out of which one medal is assured with former world number one Deepika Kumari making her first individual final since Shanghai 2013.
The former Olympian will also be eyeing a second medal when she partners Atanu Das in the mixed pair bronze playoff against Chinese Taipei’s Tan Ya-Ting and Tang Chih-Chun tomorrow.
“I really needed this kind of boost in my life,” said Deepika who will spearhead India’s challenge in the upcoming Asian Games in Indonesia in August.
“It’s been a really long time since the last time I made an individual gold medal match at a World Cup stage,” added the four-time silver medallist at the Archery World Cup Final.
After scoring 629/720 points over the 72-arrow 70-metre ranking round, she beat Erin Mickelberry, Ren Hayakawa, Ana Maria Rendon and Gabriela Bayardo to make the finals.
In the semifinal against Bayardo, Deepika was four points down before tying the match at four points each.
She took the last set 27 points to 23, for a 6-4 match win.
“I was telling myself that I was capable of winning the match. I was focusing on my heartbeat, trying to stay as calm as possible and on staying positive the whole time. This gives me more confidence for upcoming competitions,” said Deepika who will face Germany’s Michelle Kroppen in the final tomorrow.
Eyeing his second gold after winning in Poland in 2015, Delhi’s Verma levelled Hansen 26-all in the first end but he slipped to two poor 8s in the second end with his opponent taking a four-point lead in the compound individual final.
All hell broke loose in the third end when Verma missed the target as he trailed 68-84 midway into the match and it was difficult to catch up despite posting a perfect 10 in the final end.