IMAGE: Prathamesh Jawkar, 19, upset World No 1 Mike Schloesser of the Netherlands to grab a maiden World Cup gold medal in the men’s individual compound section in Shanghai on Saturday. Photograph: SAI Media/Twitter
Teenage Indian archer Prathamesh Jawkar produced the biggest upset of his rising career, stunning World No 1 Mike Schloesser of the Netherlands to grab a maiden World Cup gold medal in the men’s individual compound section in Shanghai on Saturday.
India bagged two gold in the non-Olympic compound section with the mixed team duo of Ojas Deotale and Jyothi Surekha Vennam opening the country’s tally by upsetting top-seeded Koreans in the Stage 2 of the World Cup.
This was a successive World Cup gold medal for the mixed pair duo that had also won in the Antalya leg last month.
Prathamesh, who had earlier eliminated the Korean duo of Kim Jongho and Choi Yonghee, continued his giant-killing act to defeat the Dutchman 149-148 in the men’s compound individual final.
That the 19-year-old dropped just one point from 15 arrows en route to defeating the two-time former World champion showed his incredible shooting at the highest level.
The one-point miss came in the first end as both the archers remained neck and neck after starting off with 29-all.
Second, third and fourth ends saw both of them hitting the target at ease before the 29-year-old Dutchman finally faltered in the fifth end, capping a 9 to hand the Indian teenager his first World Cup gold.
Continuing its dream run, India’s compound mixed team duo of Deotale and Jyothi earlier shocked heavyweights Korea to grab successive World Cup gold medals.
The pair carried forward its new-found chemistry and shot with composure to pip the top-seeded Korean team 156-155.
Both the Indian duo and the seasoned Korean pair of Kim Jongho and Oh Yoohyun shot identical 39s out of 40 in each of the first three ends.
In the final end, the Koreans cracked under pressure as Deotale and Jyothi came up with a 39 again to seal their back-to-back World Cup gold medals.
Having made an early exit in the individual section, Jyothi had a perfect start to the final, even as her 20-year-old partner struggled for a perfect 10.
Ojas, however, complemented well and brought out his best when Jyothi missed the 10 a couple of times, as the duo showed perfect chemistry at the highest level.
Locked 117-117 heading into the final end, Jyothi shot a 10 with her final arrow, while a measurement was needed on Oh Yoohyun’s final arrow to confirm the Indians’ victory.
“Throughout the World Cup, our co-ordination and shooting process were very good. And in the final too, we focused on our shooting process,” Jyothi said.
Jyothi has now made a strong start to the 2023 World Cup season with three gold medals including one in the individual section at Antalya leg.
The Vijayawada archer is now dreaming big with the World Archery Championships in Berlin a couple of months away.
“World Championships are the most important event for us. And winning the gold medals is a big boost to our confidence. We look to continue the momentum,” she added.
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