Indian archers Pravin Jadhav, Atanu Das and Tarundeep Rai were knocked out of the Tokyo Olympics after they lost 6-0 to top seeds South Korea in the quarterfinals of the men's team event on Monday. The Indians had set up the quarterfinal clash with a 6-2 win over Kazakhstan, earlier on Monday.
"It's not satisfying obviously," India's most-experienced archer Rai told PTI when asked about India's performance. "We shot better than the first match. Of course, we are still improving. We still have our individual matches, so we'll go for that."
Counting on the positives, Rai, who made his Olympic debut in 2004, said: "So far this has been India's best performance at the Olympics (reaching the quarterfinals). Hopefully, we will win medals soon."
Rai's Army colleague, Jadhav, said, "It's quite satisfying. I made a lot of mistakes and hope to correct them next time and win medals for the country." A dejected Das, who made his second Olympics appearance after Rio 2016, said: "We expected a lot in the mixed team, but unfortunately, it was not our day probably. Every match is a final match in the Olympics. The situations are similar whether it's a first round match or a final so we have to keep improving, overcome our fears, thoughts and get over the line," he added.
In the quarterfinal, Korea were extremely consistent. In the first set, they shot five 10s and one 9 for a total of 59, leaving the Indians with zero room for error. The Indians shot two 10s, two 9s and two 8s in response for a total of 54.
In the second set, Korea managed the same total. The Indians shot four 10s, but a 9 and an 8 meant they lost the set 59-57. In the third set, the Koreans slipped up slightly, by their high standards. They shot three 10s, two 9s and an 8 for 56, but the Indians could not capitalise, shooting four 9s, an 8 and just one 10 for a total of 54.
In the prequarterfinal, however, the Indians were strong, especially Atanu, who drilled in five perfect 10s during India's easy win at the Yumenoshima Park.
In the first set, the Kazakhstan trio of Ilfat Abdullin, Denis Gankin and Sanzhar Mussayev shot 10, 9, 9, 8, 8 and 10 for a total of 54. The Indians shot 9, 9, 8 and 9 from their first four shots. Their total of 35 meant they had no margin for error in the final two shots, and they managed just that, shooting two 10s to take the first set 55-54.
Kazakhstan had a poor second set, shooting three 8s and three 9s for a total of 51. However, India too put themselves in a tricky position by shooting a 7 and an 8. Three 9s and a 10, however, allowed them to get past their opponents by a single point once again.
The third set was the highest scoring one of the match. Kazakhstan managed three 10s and three 9s for a total of 57. India almost managed the exact same tally, but an 8 on the fourth arrow cost them the set by one point.
In the fourth set, Kazakhstan managed three 9s, two 10s and a 7, which proved costly as the Indians shot three 10s, two 8s and a 9 to win the set 55-54 and seal victory.
Earlier on Saturday, India's mixed team entry of Deepika Kumari and Jadhav were knocked out of the competition by South Korea.