Indian archers continued to smash records at the Dubai 2022 World Archery Para Championships as promising Pooja Jatyan cruised into the recurve women’s individual finals here on Sunday.
In doing so, Jatyan became the first Indian para-archer to enter individual finals of a World Archery Para Championships. The 24-year-old from Gurugram, Haryana will also play the women’s doubles bronze medal match alongside Paralympian Pooja Khanna, also a first for the country.
In the individual semi-finals, Jatyan rallied back from one set down to defeat the 49-year-old British Paralympian Hazel Chaisty 6-2. The young Indian produced her best in the second set where she shot two 9s and an X. She led 28-24, 25-24 and 24-21 to win the last three sets and the match.
Later in the evening, Jatyan will next face Italy’s Tokyo 2020 Paralympic silver medallist Vincenza Petrilli in the individual final, after the doubles pair of Jatyan and Khanna meet Mongolia.
“I have no words to express myself. I am so happy. This is my best ever performance at a major championship. I am just focused on playing well in the finals,” Jatyan told the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI).
Earlier, Jatyan, who has had polio since as a kid, also had to overcome her senior compatriot Khanna, thrashing her 7-1.
However, India’s campaign in the individual recurve men’s open ended after Tokyo 2020 Paralympic bronze medallist Harvinder Singh lost his pre-quarter-final match to South Korea’s Park Jun Beom 6-4 earlier on Sunday.
Down two sets, Singh put up an impressive show to make a rally back into the match winning the next two sets only to falter in the last one.
“It’s disappointing. Being a Paralympic medallist, there’s a lot of expectation and pressure on me to perform. And I couldn’t live up to it. I need to work on my shooting once returning back,” said Singh, promising to come back stronger.