Thursday, August 11, 2016

India Shine On Day 5 In Rio As Deepika Kumari & Manoj Kumar Enter Archery And Boxing Pre-Quarters

Boxer Manoj Kumar joined archers Deepika Kumari and Bombayla Devi in the pre-quarters of their respective events on another day of exits for India contingent at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Deepika and Bombayla entered the women's individual event's Round of 16 with stirring displays. While the Indian women's hockey team suffered its second loss in a row, losing to Australia by a crippling 1-6 margin, shooters Jitu Rai and Prakash Nanjappa, weightlifter Sathish Sivalingam and judoka Avtar Singh exited the Games.

Against this crop of disappointments, what Bombayla (ranked 69th) achieved on Wednesday was exceptional - not least because her opponent in the Round of 32 was the world No 10. First off, she defeated Austrian archer Laurence Baldauff 6-2 and then Taipei's Lin Shin-Chia by the same margin to progress to Thursday's Round of 16 match which will start at 17:56 IST.
In the first round, Bombayla - one third of the women's archery unit that was beaten by two points their Russian counterparts on Sunday - lost the first set of her event 24-27 but then won the next three to progress. Her opponent in the Round of 32 was the silver medalist from the last World Championships but Bombayla overcame her challenge 6-2. She won the first set 28-26, the second 27-24, lost the third narrowly 26-27 and then won the fourth 28-26. Her 10-pointers in the third and fourth sets were stunning.
Deepika took big strides in putting behind the failure of India's women's archery team by progressing into the pre-quarters of the individual event. She beat Georgia's Kristine Esebua 6-4 in her match, shooting a total of eight bulls eyes to enter the Round of 32 where she met Italian Guendalina Sartori hardly 15 minutes later.
Deepika, ranked 12th in the world, went past her adversary 6-2 to contest her place in the pre-quarters later today at 17:30 IST.
Later, boxer Manoj recorded an upset win over London Olympic bronze-medalist Evaldas Petrauskas in a closely fought bout to enter the pre-quarterfinals of the light welterweight (64kg) category.
Manoj, a former Commonwealth Games gold-medallist, emerged victorious 2-1 and will now face fifth seed Uzbek Fazliddin Gaibnazarov in the pre-quarters on Sunday. The 29-year-old is the second Indian boxer after Vikas Krishan (75kg) to enter the pre-quarters in Rio.
The women's hockey team, following a 0-3 loss to Great Britain, was thrashed by world No 3 Australia at the Olympic Hockey Centre. The first goal was conceded in the fifth minute when Kathryn Slaterry struck with a penalty corner, the second four minutes later when Georgina Morgan slot in another. After briefly keeping the Australians at bay, India allowed goals in the 35th and 36th minute to slump to 0-4. That, in effect, was the end of the match as a contest.
India's shooting contingent continued their disappointing show, with Jitu Rai and Prakash Nanjappa failing to qualify for the final of the men's 50m pistol event at the Olympic Shooting Centre. Jitu, ranked second in the world in the 50m heading into the Summer Games, reached the high of fourth place in the final series of his event but them slumped to 12th with an overall score of 89. His compatriot Nanjappa ended at 25th.
Others to exit the Games were weightlifter Sathish Sivalingam, who finished fourth in the final of the men's 77kg category, and judoka Avtar Singh who lost to the Olympic Refugee Team's Popole Misenga in round one of the men's 90kg Round of 32.

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