Harvinder Singh came back from two sets down to beat Bato Tsydendorzhiev of the Russian Paralympic Committee (RPC) 6-5 in a single-arrow shootout and reached the quarterfinals of the Men’s Individual Recurve Open at the Paralympic Games on Friday.
Harvinder shot 26 in the first set as against 28 by the Russian. He shot a poor 23 in the next set, including a five, as the Russian surged ahead 26-23. With his back to the wall, the 30-year-old Indian came up with a brilliant 29 in the third set while in response, Tsydendorzhiev scored only 26 as Harvinder made the score 2-4.
Both archers shot poorly in the fourth set with Tsydendorzhiev managing 21 with two 8s and a five while Harvinder too shot a five on the first arrow but got two 9s in the next two to make it 23. With the set scores tied 4-4, both archers shot 28 apiece with an identical 8, 10, and 10. Tied 5-5, Harvinder scraped through with an 8 while Tsydendorzhiev managed only a seven in the shootout, the Indian emerging winner 6-5.
Harvinder will meet Maik Szarszewski of Germany In the quarterfinal later in the day.
Harvinder is the lone Indian archer remaining in contention as Vivek Chikara lost 7-3 to David Phillips in the pre-quarterfinals. After going down in the first set 25-27, Chikara tied the second set at 25-25. He won the next set 28-22 but lost in the next two sets 27-29 and 17-23 in the final, registering a zero on the first arrow of the final set.
Earlier, Harvinder stormed into the pre-quarterfinals by beating Italian Stefano Travisani 6-5 via a shootout in a 1/16 Elimination duel at the Tokyo Paralympic Games here on Friday.
Harvinder, who bagged a gold medal at the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2018, had won the first two sets and taken a 4-0 lead winning them 27-24 and 26-22 when his Italian opponent came back strongly to take the third set 27-26 at the Yumenoshima Ranking Field.
The duo bagged a point each (25-25) and the score was still in Harvinder’s favour 5-3. However, Harvinder could manage only 8, 7, and 10 points on his final three arrows as Travisani won the fifth set 27-25 with three 9s as he tied the set scores 5-5 and took the match into a single-arrow shootout.
In the shootout, Harvinder, the 30-year-old with a doctorate in economics from Punjabi University, Patiala, shot a 10 while Travisani could manage only 7.
Harvinder thus set up a pre-quarterfinal encounter with the Russian Paralympic Committee’s (RPC) Bato Tsydendorzhiev later in the day.
Harvinder, considered by experts in para archery as a bright prospect after his victory in the Asian Para Games in Jakarta, was placed 21st after the ranking round held on August 27.