Atanu Das failed to keep his nerve when it mattered most after making a good comeback against Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa, losing the Men’s Individual Round-of-16 Elimination duel 6-4 at the Tokyo Olympics on Saturday.
After losing the first set 25-27, Das came back strongly to tie the scores in the second with a superb 10 on the first arrow, putting pressure on the Japanese as he had to score a 10 on the final arrow to tie scores 28-28.
Das struck two 10s off the first two arrows of the third set and a nine off the last arrow. In response, Furukawa shot 8, 10, and 9 as he lost the set 27-28, with the set scores tied 3-3.
There was nothing much to differentiate between the two archers in the fourth set as they shot an identical 9, 10, and 9, the set scores 4-4 going into the fifth and deciding set.
And that’s where Das succumbed to the pressure. He started with a nine but botched up his second arrow and shot an eight. Furukawa responded with a 10. Das came up with only a nine on the last attempt — a 10 could have put more pressure on his rival — and Furukawa responded with a nine which was enough to give him the set 27-26 and a place in the quarterfinals.
Furukawa, who had won silver in the 2012 London Olympics, was a tough opponent but Das was on a high after beating South Korea’s Oh Jin-hyek, the man who won the gold medal in 2012.
However, it did not matter much in the end as the Indian could not maintain his composure and lost the close duel 6-4 on points.
That ended India’s campaign in archery at the Tokyo Olympics. They had reached Tokyo with high hopes after a good performance in the World Cup Stage III event in Paris last month but are returning home without any medal as Das, the top-ranked archer in the world for some time during the build-up phase, was the lone male archer to reach this stage.
The lone contestant in the women’s section, Deepika Kumari, the world No. 1 before the Tokyo Olympics, fell by the wayside in the quarterfinals on Friday.
The Mixed Team of Pravin Jadhav and Deepika Kumari lost to South Korea in the quarterfinal as did the men’s team which also went down to Korea 0-6.
In the Individual rounds, both Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav won their first-round matches but went down to strong opponents in the second. Deepika made it to the quarterfinals before running into the eventual winner An San of South Korea.
Das raised hopes by beating Oh Jin-hyek but in the end that too was short-lived as he failed to capitalise on his chances against Furukawa.