Dola & Co. bow out in quarter finals

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Beijing
  • Published 11.08.08
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Beijing: The Indian women’s archery team of Dola Banerjee, Bombayla Devi and V. Pranitha, after showing a lot of promise and raising hopes, lost to China 206-211 at the Olympic Green Archery Field on Sunday.

In the 24-arrow team contest, with each archer shooting two arrows each in four ends, the Indians trailed the hosts throughout.

The first end of six arrows saw China lead by 52 points to 51; the second end saw the hosts leading by 50-49 (102-100 in total); after the third, China were leading 56-51 (158-151) and the final end produced 53-55 (211-206) to enable the hosts to advance to the semi-finals.

“It was sheer bad luck,” a visibly disappointed Dola told the media after the loss.

“There are no excuses. The weather was perfect. “It started raining a little towards the end but rain means no wind and so no disruptions whatsoever.

“The conditions in which we played were good and we have beaten this very Chinese team thrice in the last 18 months. “While Britain moved into the semi-finals by scoring 201 points (to Japan’s 198), our 206 also unfortunately not good enough.” It was, in fact, the inexperience of Pranitha which made the difference in the end.

However, Dola did not intend to shift the blame on anyone. “It was a team event, whatever happens, happens together.”

Assistant coach Purnima Mahato, however, did concede that it was Pranitha’s inexperience which cost the country dear.

While not wanting to shift the blame or find a scapegoat, Dola did mention that the loud and raucous support for the Chinese did affect concentration.

Dola had anticipated this, which is why after the ranking round on Saturday she had said that it would have been better to avoid China since they enjoy the home advantage.

With a tinge of bitterness in tone, Dola also said that while criticism was welcome, she hoped the sport would not be put on the backburner for the next four years, till it was again time for London 2012 Games.