Das delivers in tiebreak to oust Olympic Champion in Tokyo

Atanu Das celebrates his second-round win at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Oh Jin Hyek delivered the first arrow of the tiebreak.

It was a nine – a strong nine – but with plenty of space for Atanu Das to place his arrow inside, closer to the middle, and secure a spot in the third round of these Olympics in Tokyo.

The wind was blowing hard, left to right, according to the windsocks on the field; downrange, according to the national flags atop the stands.

Das held long, wobbled a little, and delivered.

Under all the pressure in the world, shooting second against a veritable legend of the sport, Atanu shot a 10.

“It was a tense moment. I’ve faced shoot-offs before. I knew he was shooting first, and if he would shoot a nine, I could win it,” he said. “I just tried to maintain my focus. It was a tense moment, a win or lose situation. So I just went for the win.”

The upset put the Indian world number nine into the third round of the archery competitions at Tokyo 2020, alongside wife and teammate Deepika Kumari, where he will face another medallist from the 2012 Olympics.

Takaharu Furukawa was the silver medallist in London, only losing to Oh Jin Hyek in the final.

Das made it this far in his Olympic debut at Rio 2016. To make it any further this time around, he’ll have to deliver the goods against another veteran of the Games on Saturday morning.

“We’re giving out best, so let’s see what happens,” said Atanu.

India has never won an Olympic medal in archery.