Turkish gold for new Indian partnership in Antalya
The penultimate session of the first stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup saw India, Great Britain and Chinese Taipei ensure the best possible start to the season, taking recurve team golds in Antalya, Turkey.
Two of the finals were one-sided, with Britain defeating Germany 5-1 to take women's team gold and Chinese Taipei going one better, seeing off Italy 6-0 in the men's event.
However, it was the mixed team event which went down to the wire, with the India pair of Tarundeep Rai and Ridhi squeezing past the Great Britain duo of Bryony Pitman and Alex Wise in a shoot-off, 18-17.
Wise had the chance to win it for GB with a 10 but he pulled his arrow wide to register a 9 and spark celebrations from the new Indian duo.
“I was feeling so excited before the match," said the 38-year-old Rai who has only-ever won one World Cup stage, back in 2010.
"This was the first time we have been paired together, she’s just 17 years old and has a bright future. It's been a great experience with her and I wish every time we shoot, the Indian team will win gold.”
"Winning a World Cup title is a kind of milestone and this experience will really help us to win a medal in the Asian Games.”
For Ridhi, she did not underestimate the momentous occasion in her young career.
“It’s not even the first time I'm playing in a final venue, I'm playing my first World Cup," she said. "I was so very excited to play here at the final venue and we can say that this was my best performance ever in a senior tournament.”
“It’s awesome for a couple of reasons," explained Brady, who will shoot in the recurve individual semifinals later today.
"One, it’s been a while since the USA has been around the mixed team medals, and (second) because it’s her (Sasai’s) first World Cup. She got us to the bronze medal match really, she way outshot me earlier in the week and we both shot great out there (today)."
The Great Britain trio of Penny Healey, Bryony Pitman, Jaspreet Kaur Jessica Sagoo were dominant against the Germany threesome of Katharina Bauer, Michelle Kroppen, Charline Schwarz, winning 5-1 in their recurve women's match.
Pitman had started the day with the possibility of getting a trio of golds and with the women's team win had looked strong, but that loss against India in the mixed team final put paid to that.
She will be hoping to get on the podium again later, in the recurve women's individual event, which also features Bauer and Schwarz.
“We’ve been solid all week and I’m glad we finished the final in an excellent way," said Healey about her team which featured World Cup debutants Healey and Sagoo.
"All the hard work has been paying off. We've come out here this week and we've shot really well as a team." she added.
"As an individual, everything has just finally come together. I've been doing World Cups for a while now. To finally be at an event and to have everything happen all at once is just incredible."
The Netherlands' men and Chinese Taipei women teams won recurve bronze medals earlier this week.