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Indian Archers Win Silver, Bronze In Recurve Team Events, End 13-Year Wait

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A 13-year wait ended in archery on Friday when the Indian men’s and women’s teams surpassed expectations to clinch a silver and bronze respectively, their first medals since 2010, at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Friday. Battling injuries, the recurve team of Ankita Bhakat, Simranjeet Kaur and Bhajan Kaur defied odds to clinch a bronze medal in the morning session. The fifth-seeded women’s trio dropped just one set to down their Vietnamese rivals 6-2 (56-52, 55-56, 57-50, 51-48) and secure their first-ever Asian Games medal in the Olympic-discipline category since Guangzhou 2010. (Asian Games 2023 Medals Tally | Asian Games 2023 Full Schedule)

The women’s team’s splendid show then rubbed off on their male counterparts as the triumvirate of Atanu Das, Tushar Shelke, and Dhiraj Bommadevara returned with a silver medal.

They defeated Bangladesh’s Sagor Islam, Hakim Rubel and Ruman Shana 5-3 (58-51, 57-54, 56-58, 57-57) in a lopsided semifinal.

But up against heavyweights South Korea in the gold medal clash, the Indian trio faltered 5-1 (55-60, 57-57, 55-56). The Indians had a splendid second set, drawing level to make it 1-3.

In the third set, the Koreans slipped to the 8-ring but that did not matter much as Lee Wooseok, Oh Jinhyek and Kim Je Deok pipped India by a point to take the third set and seal the gold.

The last time India had won a medal in recurve category at the Asian Games was 13 years ago when they bagged an individual silver and team bronze medals in men’s and women’s events.

For India, this was their record eighth medal overall in archery at the ongoing games. They have already won three team gold medals in mixed, women’s and men’s events of the non-Olympic compound section.

Abhishek Verma and Ojas Deotale are vying for a top-two finish, having made it an all-India final in compound individual section.

Jyothi Surekha Vennam has also advanced into the women’s compound individual final, assuring at least a silver medal.

The fifth-seeded Indian women’s team started the day on a positive manner ousting higher-ranked Japan 6-2 (53-49, 56-54, 53-54, 54-51) in the quarterfinals to seal a clash against heavyweights South Korea.

Boasting triple Olympic gold winner from Tokyo, An San, the top-seeded Koreans were the next in line but the Indians managed to snatch one set from the top-seed before going down 2-6 (54-56, 54-57, 57-55, 52-57).

In the bronze playoff, 18-year-old Bhajan Kaur, who is battling a shoulder injury for more than a year, stood out with six 10s from her eight arrows as they overcame lower-ranked Vietanmese in a dramatic finish.

Do Thi Anh Nguyet, Nguyen Thi Thanh Nhi and Hoang Phuong Thao bounced back from 0-2 behind to make it 2-2 and the Indians then regained the lead with Bhajan drilling in two 10s in the penultimate end.

Indian shot last in the final set and they needed 21 points from final three arrows.

Shooting second Simranjeet Kaur, who too carried a shoulder niggle, slipped to the six-ring.

Bhajan, who shot last among the trio, needed a seven to seal the bronze. The teenager showed amazing calmness to come up with an 8 to end the 13-year wait.

“It was a very important medal for us. We have been practising for a lot of years and it’s very valuable for us and I’m very happy,” said Simranjeet.

On handling pressure, she said: “Because when you are shooting for something, it’s a pressure situation. But we as a team, we just focused on ourselves.” In men’s event later in the day, seniormost Atanu Das fumbled twice before coming up with a perfect 10 in the shoot-off as India overcame some jittery moments to go past 11th seeded Mongolia 5-4 (58-52, 55-56, 59-56, 56-58) (28-25) in the quarterfinal.

The match had its ups and downs with India losing their lead twice to Mongolia when Das hit in the red-ring in the second and four set.

But the two-time Olympian, who starts first among the Indian trio, was a picture of calmness in the shootoff hitting a 10 as they totalled 28.

Mongolia, who were to shoot last, crumbled under pressure and shot their last arrow in the outer seven-ring.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Smriti Mandhana Gifts Wheelchair-Bound Girl Mobile Phone After India Match In Asia Cup

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Smriti Mandhana (right) with a differently-abled girl.© X/@OfficialSLC




In a heartwarming gesture, star India batter Smriti Mandhana gifted a wheelchair-bound girl a mobile phone after the team’s match at the ongoing women’s T20 Asia Cup tournament in Dambulla. Adeesha Herath, who came to the stadium escorted by her mother in a wheelchair, experienced a pleasant surprise as Mandhana came to meet her and presented her a phone. “Adeesha Herath’s love for cricket brought her to the stadium, despite all the challenges. The highlight of her day? A surprise encounter with her favourite cricketer, Smriti Mandhana, who handed her a mobile phone as a token of appreciation,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a tweet.

In the video posted along with the tweet, Mandhana was heard asking the girl her name.

“You like cricket, that is nice. You enjoyed today’s match. I have brought a gift for you from all of us,” Mandhana told the girl, before having a high-five with her and posing for a photograph.

The girl’s mother said it was an unexpected gift.

“We came to watch the match unexpectedly, as my daughter wanted to go for the match. We met Mandhana madam from Indian team and my daughter received a phone from her. It was unexpected and my daughter is so lucky to receive this gift from her,” she said.

India beat arch rivals Pakistan by seven wickets on Friday in their opening match. They are up against United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Sri Lanka Beat Bangladesh By 7 Wickets In Women’s T20 Asia Cup

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Hosts Sri Lanka started their campaign in the Women’s T20 Asia Cup on a positive note, beating Bangladesh by seven wickets in Dambulla on Saturday. After restricting Bangladesh to a modest 111 for eight, Sri Lanka completed the task with 17 balls to spare, reaching 114/3 in 17.1 overs. Opting to bat first, Bangladesh were off to a disastrous start and lost three wickets with just six runs on the board. It soon became 17/4, and then 48/5, before skipper Nigar Sultana steadied the sinking ship with a 48-run knock that came off 59 balls and included six boundaries.

Down the order, Shorna Akter contributed a brisk 14-ball 25 as Bangladesh crossed 100.

Udeshika Prabodhani (2/20) and Inoshi Priyadharshani (2/17) grabbed two wickets each for Sri Lanka, while there was one apiece for Sugandika Kumari, Kavisha Dilhari and Chamari Athapaththu.

As far as Sri Lanka batting was concerned, opener Vishmi Gunaratne was the highest scorer with 51 off 48 balls, hitting seven fours and a six in her knock.

Harshitha Samarawickrama chipped in with 33 in 31 balls and got out with her team on the doorstep of victory.

Nahida Akter was the best bowler for Bangladesh, finishing with fine figures of 3/12 in her quota of four overs.

Thailand defeat Malaysia

In the day’s first match, Thailand got the better of Malaysia by 22 runs.

Batting first, Thailand posted 133 for six after wicketkeeper Nannapat Koncharoenkai top-scored with a 35-ball 40, while Phannita Maya chipped in with 29 in 28 deliveries.

Mahirah Izzati Ismail was the most successful bowler for Malaysia, returning excellent figures of 3/16 in four overs.

Mahirah’s effort, however, went in vain as Thailand restricted their opponents to 111 for eight in the allotted 20 overs, despite a half century from opener Wan Julia (52 off 53 balls).

Captain Winifred Duraisingam made 22 in 28 balls at the top of the order while being associated in a 68-run first-wicket partnership with Julia.

The Malaysian batting, however, collapsed after that as Thailand produced a disciplined show with the ball to emerge victorious.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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“Very Slim Chances”: Ex-Pakistan Board Chief’s Blunt Admission On India Travelling For Champions Trophy

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File photo of an India vs Pakistan match© AFP




Former Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Khalid Mahmood believes India will not travel to Pakistan for the ICC Champions Trophy early next year. “They are very very slim chances they will agree to play in Pakistan,” Mahmood, who is a retired senior bureaucrat, said. He, however, said that if India doesn’t visit Pakistan, it would be a non-profitable deal for PCB and the ICC.

“India is the richest cricket board and carries a lot of clout. If they don’t send their team to Pakistan I foresee even countries like Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and Bangladesh following their path,” Mahmood said.

“This would basically reduce the Champions Trophy into a venture where revenues will take a hit, expenses will grow and profits would fall,” Mahmood, who twice went to India in 1989 and 1999 as Pakistan’s junior and senior team manager, said.

Mahmood said that PCB should just follow their policy of not mixing sports and politics.

“Look the thing is at this level you can only lobby and try to convince other boards to be on your side. India has too much clout in the ICC it would do no good for Pakistan to adopt a tit for tat strategy.” “Thing is when the BCCI says it can’t send its team and will play its matches outside Pakistan, it does reduce the purpose for Pakistan of hosting an ICC event,” he added.

The Champions Trophy is scheduled to be held from February 19 to March 9 next year.

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