USA: Ace Indian archer Deepika Kumar shrugged off her poor run of form by clinching gold medal in the women's recurve event at the World Cup (Stage III) beating Germany's Michelle Kroppen 7-3 to qualify for the circuit final later this year.
Deepika, a four-time World Cup final silver medallist (2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015), automatically qualified for the Archery World Cup Final in Samsun, Turkey, which will be her seventh appearance at the season-ending event.
"Finally! That's what I said when I won this gold medal," said Deepika, whose last victory at a World Cup stage event came six years ago, in Antalya back in 2012.
The Indian archer opened the match with 29 out of a possible 30 points to take a 2-0 lead, before splitting the points with Kroppen in the second. The German archer, making her individual debut in the finals arena, won the third set and tied the match at 3-3. Deepika then took the fourth and fifth sets with a 29 and a 27, over Michelle's pair of 26s, to win the match, 7-3.
"I was repeating to myself, just do it the best, this is your time, just enjoy your game and forget about winning or losing and have fun," Deepika told the official website of the World Archery federation.
"Do I feel relieved to qualify? Yes and no. I'm not expecting anything, at the moment I'm just enjoying my game, I want to enjoy my game," said Deepika, who has often failed to live up to expectations at bigger stages like the Olympics.
Tan Ya-Ting of Chinese Taipei beat Gabriela Bayardo of the Netherlands in four sets, 7-1, to the recurve women's bronze medal. In the medal standings, India finished fourth behind USA, Colombia and Chinese Taipei with a gold, silver and bronze each in the penultimate stage of the World Cup.
Deepika however, returned empty-handed in the recurve mixed pair section alongside Atanu Das, where they lost to Chinese Taipei pair of Tang Chih-Chun and Tan Ya-Ting 4-5 in the shoot-off. Locked 37-all after set four, the pair of Deepika and Atanu Das shot identical 8s, while their opponents sealed the issue with a 9 and 8.
India's Asian Games-bound archery squad will now head off to Berlin for the fourth stage of the World Cup from 16-22 July ahead of the Indonesia Asian Games that will begin in August and end in September.
Updated Date: Jun 25, 2018 19:21:41 IST