Atanu, Deepika enter semifinals

Guatemala City, April 23

India’s top archery couple Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari battled heavy winds to storm into their respective semifinals of the recurve section as India continued to make giant strides in the World Cup Stage 1 here.

Returning to the World Cup after almost two years, Das and Deepika, who got married last year, also paired up to advance to the bronze playoff in the recurve mixed event last night to keep India in the hunt for five medals.

Deepika, who qualified as the number three seed, put up some incredible shooting to down German archer Michelle Kroppen in straight sets. While the rest of the field struggled with the breeze, former world No. 1 Deepika shot fast and confidently on her way to an easy win.

“I had too many thoughts in my mind, and all I wanted to do was to concentrate, to focus and control my mind. I know I can do better. My first match wasn’t that good, and I feel like I didn’t give it all,” she said. “I feel so nervous still, but good as well. I’m happy because I’m finally competing. We waited one-and-a-half years for this, and we’re finally here.”

The world No. 9, who is the highest seed remaining in the draw, will next face Alejandra Valencia of Mexico in her quest for a gold medal on Sunday.

India remain in the hunt for medals in the men’s and women’s team events after advancing to the quarterfinals in both. — TNS, agencies

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