Archery, hockey give India reason to smile on Day 4

first_imgCOMMENTS VIKAS_KRISHAN_2965814f August 10, 2016 Published on 2/2 COMMENT VIKAS_KRISHAN_2965814f × 1/2center_img Archer Atanu Das and boxer Vikas Krishan entered the pre-quarterfinals, while the men’s hockey team stood up to the challenge posed by Argentina to virtually sew up a last-eight spot on a reasonably successful day for Indian athletes in the Olympic Games here.Das first defeated Nepalese rival Jitbahadur Muktan 6—0 and then vanquished Cuba’s Adrian Andres Puentes Perez 6—4 to enter the pre-quarters where he will face a tough rival in former world no. 5 South Korean archer Lee Seung—Yun on August 12.Lee was a part of the victorious South Korean outfit that won a gold medal in the team Recurve event at the ongoing Games.What was impressive about Das was the manner in which he held his nerve during his last shot in the fifth and final set.The score was 19-18 and a ‘10-pointer’ would have ensured his place in the last-16 even before his opponent had aimed for his final strike.Das did not disappoint as he hit the ‘Bull’s Eye’ taking an unassailable lead and winning the final set 29-28.The Kolkata-based Das defeated his Cuban rival 28—26 29—26 26—27 27—28 29—28.Earlier in the day, he made short work of Muktan in three straight games with a comprehensive scoreline of 29—26 29—24 30—26, enjoying a fair lead in all three sets including a hat—trick of Perfect 10’s in the final game.HockeyIn men’s hockey, India survived a final quarter onslaught from Argentina for a nail-biting 2-1 win that enhanced their quarter-final chances.The second win in the pool stage has virtually secured India a quarterfinal berth as they rose to the second position with six points.India dominated Argentina in the first three quarters but came under tremendous pressure from the Los Leones in the final 15 minutes during which they conceded as many as five penalty corners.Trailing 0-2, the Argentines played all out hockey in the final quarter as the Indians looked out of sorts.It was a tense final quarter for the Indians after drag—flicker Gonzalo Peillat pulled one back for Argentina in the 49th minute by converting their first penalty corner with a lethal strike that beat goalkeeper PR Sreejesh all ends up.It looked as if it would turn out to be another heartbreak for the Indians, following their 1—2 loss to Germany yesterday after conceding a goal in the dying moments, as the game was mostly played in the Indian half thereafter.If not for Sreejesh, India could have suffered their second successive defeat in the Games. Sreejesh pulled off as many as five saves to deny Peillat and the Argentines.Earlier, India were the better side in the first three quarters and took the lead through Chinglensana Singh (8th minute) before fellow Manipuri player Kothajit Singh doubled the scoreline with a field strike in the 35th minute.Boxing campaignLater in the evening, former Asian Games gold-medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg) gave a perfect start to India’s boxing campaign, beating American greenhorn Charles Conwell to enter the pre—quarterfinals.The 24-year-old Vikas defeated the Olympic debutant 3-0 in his opening contest, which came alive only in the final three minutes, to make the last—16. Vikas will now face Turkey’s Onder Sipal, who got the better of Zambian Benny Muziyo in a fiercely—contested opening bout.The 18-year-old Conwell, who walked in to hostile boos from the local crowd, struggled to launch an attack on the Indian in the opening round. Vikas, on the other hand, used his right straights and uppercuts to good effect in the first three minutes.Vikas dropped his guard quite early in the bout but Conwell’s attempts at capitalising on it did not quite work out as he landed into a well—laid trap by the counter—attacking Indian.Vikas seemed more assured in the second round and concentrated on breaking down Conwell’s defence by targetting his torso.Although the judges were divided in awarding the round to the former World Championships bronze-medallist, Vikas had done enough to secure himself the handy lead going into the final round.After being seemingly clueless and fetching two cautions for bending excessively in the first two rounds, Conwell gathered himself in the final three minutes to land a couple of crisp jabs but the effort came too late in the day.The final round ended up being tied between the two boxers but Vikas emerged triumphant on the back of his strong showing in the first two rounds.Vikas said he wanted to land clear punches and impress the judges to seal the bout against Conwell in the first two rounds so as to avoid a repeat of the London Olympics.He had won against American Errol Spence in the prequarters but the decision was overturned after a protest four years ago.“When I saw the draw and got a fight against another US boxer, the London thought came to my mind. I did not want a repeat of what happened four years back. But I had my strategies clear — to beat him in the first two rounds,”Empty-handedHowever, the country continued to draw a blank medal—wise and faced reversals in the shooting range where Heena Sidhu made her exit after performing poorly in the women’s 25m pistol event where she finished a distant 20th with 576 out of 600 points.India’s lone competitor in rowing, Dattu Baban Bhokanal, finished fourth in the quarter-finals of the men’s single sculls to go out of medal reckoning Rio 2016: Faster, Higher, Stronger TH10ARCHERY_2965727f   –  Reuters sport TH10ARCHERY_2965727f   –  Reuters SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAILlast_img read more