Indian archer Atanu Das, ranked 9th in the world, did not let nerves get the better of him as he triumphed over 2-time Olympic gold medalist, Oh Jinhyek of South Korea, in an extremely close encounter. This win allowed him to move into the third round of the Men’s Individual Archery at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Atanu Das managed to achieve an exhilarating victory over third seeded Oh, with the scoreboard reading 6-5 (25-26, 27-27, 27-27, 27-22, 28-28, 10-9), at the end of a nerve-wracking shoot-off.
Das had previously handed Yu-Cheng Deng by 6-4 (27-26, 27-28, 28-26, 27-28, 28-26) of Chinese Taipei in the first round.
Even though Oh has a higher rank and seed in comparison to Das, the Indian has triumphed over the South Korean (6-5), via a shoot-off to win the bronze medal at the 2019 Asian championships in Bangkok. In Tokyo, Atanu went down in the first set to Oh, after shooting two 8s. However, he scripted a powerful comeback by striking six 9s, back to back, in the following couple of sets.
Atanu had the advantage of having his wife, the shining star of Indian archery, Deepika Kumari, to cheer him on from the stands. Atanu, who is 9 years younger than his experienced adversary, kept on making high scoring shots, which allowed him to keep the South Korean at bay, and finally pull off an inspiring win.
Trailing 2-4, and in a desperate need to clinch set number 4, to stay in the running for a victory, Atanu Das saw an opportunity when Oh made an uncharacteristic mistake. He capitalised on it by shooting a 10, and levelling the scores. Both of them had put up the same identical series of 10, 9 and 9 in the fifth set and acquired 1 point each, to take the match into a shoot-off.
In the tie-breaker(shoot-off), Oh struck a 9, and Atanu made sure to keep his cool and hit a 10, and complete a hard-fought win.
Atanu was calm and at peace after the win. He wrote in his social media platform, “Handling the tough days.
It was windy.”
Thanks to this win, Atanu moves into the pre-quarterfinals, where he will go up against Takaharu Furukawa of Japan, who had won a silver in the single’s event in the 2012 Summer Olympics.