Deepika Kumari, Atanu Das return empty-handed from Archery World Cup Final

The three-member Indian archery team, which also includes compound archer Abhishek Verma, did not win any medals at the season-ending final event.

By Aarish Ansari
Picture by 2021 Getty Images

Indian recurve archers Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das lost their respective bronze medal contests at the 2021 Archery World Cup Final in Yankton, USA on Thursday.

The two Olympians were competing on the international stage for the first time after an underwhelming Tokyo 2020 campaign.

The world No. 2 Deepika Kumari, who was making her eighth World Cup Final appearance, went down 5-6 to Germany’s Michelle Kroppen in the closely fought third-place match.

The Indian lost the first two sets to the German but drew the third and won the next two to force a shoot-off. However, Kumari shot an uncharacteristic six in the one-arrow tiebreaker against Kroppen’s nine to miss out on a podium finish.

Kumari, who has four silvers and a bronze in World Cup Finals, had earlier lost to eventual silver medallist Elena Osipova of Russia in the semi-final and defeated another Russian Svetlana Gomboeva in the quarter-final.

Only the top eight archers from the three stages of the World Cup made it to the season-ending final.

Germany’s Lisa Unruh took home the gold medal in the women’s recurve.

Deepika Kumari’s husband Atanu Das also faltered in the bronze playoff of the men’s event.

Atanu Das was no match to Tokyo Olympic champion Mete Gazoz of Turkey and lost 6-0 in the third-place match. The Indian could only shoot two 10s in the three sets whereas Gazoz shot six 10s, including a perfect 30 in the final set.

The world No. 7 Atanu Das, who was making his World Cup Final debut, had started on a positive note, defeating Maximilian Weckmueller of Germany 6-2 in the quarter-final before losing the semi-final 2-6 to world no. 1 Brady Ellison of the USA.

Ellison then went down to compatriot Jack Williams in the final.

Earlier, compound archer Abhishek Verma had crashed out in the opening round of the men’s individual after going down 146-142 to Braden Gellenthien of the USA on Wednesday.