Archery World Cup | Abhishek Verma wins compound individual gold, opens tally for India

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India are eyeing three more medals in the recurve team, individual and mixed pair event, slated for Sunday

Star compound archer Abhishek Verma stunned American heavyweight Kris Schaff in a shoot-off to bag a gold medal at the Archery World Cup Stage 3 here on Saturday.

In a neck-and-neck final clash, the duo dropped just two points each to be locked 148-all after the regulation five ends.

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The world number five Schaff started the shoot-off with a nine and Verma, showing nerve of steel, clinched the contest in style with a perfect 10 to open India’s account. It was Verma’s second individual World Cup gold medal. The 32-year-old Indian last won an individual medal in 2015 at World Cup Stage 3 in Wroclaw.

“That’s archery, it’s all about hits and misses. My heart beat went up so I just calmed myself down and kept my focus on the next arrow,” Verma said about the intense finish.

Earlier Verma defeated Anton Bulaev of Russia 146-138 to make his first World Cup final since Salt Lake City 2018 where he had finished with a silver.

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Starting off with 29, the Indian trailed by one point with Bulaev shooting three perfect 10s.

But Verma bounced back strongly with another 29 in the third, before stepping up in the penultimate end with three perfect 10s.

Heading into the final end with a three point lead, Verma finished it off in style with three 10s including one closest to the centre (X).

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India are eyeing three more medals in the recurve team, individual and mixed pair event, slated for Sunday with world number three Deepika Kumari aiming for a hat-trick of gold medals.

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