It was gold rush for Indian archers at the World Cup Stage 3 here on Sunday with star couple Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari clinching the mixed team top honours after the women’s recurve trio’s victory in a near perfect Olympic build-up. Deepika and Atanu bounced back from a 0-2 deficit to down the Netherland’s Sjef van den Berg and Gabriela Schloesser 5-3 and fetch India a third gold medal from the competition.
This was after the women’s recurve team of Deepika, Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari notched up the gold medal with a comfortable win over Mexico, shrugging off the disappointment of missing Olympic qualification last week. “It feels amazing. First time we are playing together (in the final) and won together, feel so happy," Atanu said after their win.
The two got married after a two-year courtship and would be celebrating their first wedding anniversary on June 30. “It feels we are made for each other. But in the ground we are not couple but like just other competitors, we motivate, support and back each other," Atanu said.
Deepika, who had earlier spearheaded the women’s team to a second successive World Cup gold medal this year, said: “It feels happy." She will be shooting for a hat-trick of gold later in the day. India so far have won three gold medals with compound archer Abhishek Verma opening the tally winning the individual event on Saturday. Earlier in the day, in a repeat of the World Cup first stage final, the troika of world number three Deepika, Ankita and Komalika defeated fancied Mexico 5-1 without dropping a set.
This was their second successive gold medal in the World Cup this year, and sixth overall (Shanghai-2011, Medellin-2013, Wroclaw-2013, Wroclaw-2014, Guatemala City-2o21). Deepika was a constant each time. The trio, which had stuttered to win the gold against the same opponents in Guatemala City two months back, was at its best, shooting four 10s with one X (closest to the centre) for a 57-57 score in the first set.
The Indians’ flawless shooting put pressure back on the Mexican team of London 2012 silver-medallist Aida Roman, Alejandra Valencia and Ana Vazquez. They shot a poor 52 to lose the second set by three points. Leading 3-1, the Indians had another round of consistent shooting with a 55 but the Mexicans failed to equalise and lost the third set by a slender one point to suffer a second successive defeat this year.