Archer Atanu Das brought some cheer to the crestfallen Indian contingent as he demolished Nepal’s Jitbahadur Muktan and Cuban Adrian Peuntes in successive rounds and entered the pre-quarterfinals of the men’s singles recurve.
The 24-year-old from Bengal was in fine fettle right through the two matches as he won 6-0 against Muktan and 6-4 over Peuntes, with a display laced with quiet determination and precision shooting.
In the match against the Nepalese, Atanu was in full flow, finding 10s and 9s repeatedly to win the encounter in three sets at 29-26, 29-24, 30-26.
The going against the Cuban was expectedly tougher but what still stood out was the manner in which the Indian held his nerve, especially in the crucial fifth set.
Atanu got off to a great start in this match too pocketing the first two sets 28-26 and 29-26 before the Cuban struck to negate the lead and push the encounter into the decider.
Peuntes won the third and fourth sets, 27-26, 28-27, before a solid 10 off his last shot helped Atanu seal a memorable 29-28 win and a berth in the pre-quarterfinals.
The Indian will now meet South Korean Lee Seung-Yun on Friday (August 12).
In rowing, Dattu Baban Bhokanal finished fourth in the quarterfinals of the men's single sculls to be out of medal reckoning.
Bhokanal clocked 6:59.89 to cover a distance of 2000m, little more than six seconds behind the third and last qualifier from quarterfinal 4, Natan Wegrzycki-Szymczyk 6:53.52) of Poland.
The fourth-place finish only helped the Indian to be ranked 15th overall and will now figure in the classification races.
Croatia's Damir Martin, the London Olympics silver medallist, won the quarterfinal with a far superior timing of 6:44.44, ahead of second-placed Alan Campbell (6:49.41).
Bhokanal commenced strongly and was second going past the 500m mark but then gradually lost ground.
In shooting, Heena Sidhu continued her wayward showing and was ousted from the women’s 25m pistol event in the qualification stage itself. The Indian was able to return a card of only 576 points through the two rounds of competition and was placed 20th among 39 shooters.