Archery World Cup Final: India’s Prathamesh Jawkar Signs Off With Silver Medal

The 20-year-old from Maharashtra lost to Denmark’s Mathias Fullerton by the barest of margins in an intense shoot-off finish late on Saturday.

File image of Prathamesh Jawkar

A loss to Denmark's Mathias Fullerton by the barest of margins ended Indian compound archer Prathamesh Jawkar's dream run in his maiden 'World Cup Final' with a silver medal, following an intense shoot-off finish in Hermosillo, Mexico, late on Saturday.

Shanghai World Cup winner Jawkar, who stunned the world No 1 and reigning champion Mike Schloesser for the second time in four months to storm into the final, lost 148-148 (10-10*) to Fullerton, who was adjudged the winner by virtue of his arrow being closer to the centre.

The Denmark archer took an early lead after the 20-year-old Indian dropped one point in the opening round of their final clash.
Trailing 89-90 at the halway stage, Jawkar brought the final on an even keel when he shot 30 points out of a possible 30 to make it 119-all going into the last round.

But in the designated final end, both the archers shot identical scores of 29 each to take it to shoot-off.

The tiebreaker also saw a stalemate as the Indian missed Fullerton's arrow by the narrowest of margins.

In the semifinal, the Maharashtra archer dished out some flawless shooting to record 150 out of a possible 150 points and pip Schloesser by one point (150-149).

The win also denied the Dutchman a hat-trick of World Cup Final titles. Schloesser is a winner of four 'World Cup Finals' (2016, 2019, 2021 and 2022).

It was Jawkar's second victory over the 'Mr Perfectionist' in four months. At the final of the Shanghai World Cup in May, Jawakar had prevailed over the Dutch heavyweight 149-148.

Schloesser, however, managed to bring his A-game in the bronze medal play-off, when he denied India a second medal, defeating veteran Abhishek Verma 150-149.

Verma was eyeing a second World Cup Final bronze, when he made his way through to the third-place play-off, defeating Sawyer Sullivan of the USA 146-146 (10-9) in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinal, Verma lost to eventual champion Fullerton 147-150.

Jawkar started off in an ominous fashion when he dropped just one point to eliminate host nation representative Miguel Becerra 149-141 in the quarterfinal. It's only in the penultimate round that the Indian missed the centre once from 15 arrows in an otherwise perfect display.

The win set up Jawkar's semifinal clash against the Dutch superstar Schloesser for the second time in four months.

Aditi Swami, Jyoti Surekha Vennam Return Empty-Handed

India, however, faced disappointment in the women's compound section with the duo of Aditi Swami and Jyothi Surekha Vennam returning empty-handed after losing their respective opening-round matches.

World Cup stage winner Jyothi Surekha Vennam failed to cross the opening-round hurdle, going down to Colombian heavyweight and eventual champion Sara Lopez by a five-point margin in a lopsided quarterfinal.

Jyothi dropped two points in the first end to trail by two points against Sara, who had a perfect 30 out of 30 score. Jyothi recovered in the second end and at the midway stage, had a one-point deficit (88-89).

But a below-par fourth end, where the Indian managed 27 (9-9-9), proved costly as Sara wrapped up the issue 149-144 before sealing a hat-trick of World Cup Final titles. Overall, Sara has seven World Cup Final titles in her kitty.

All eyes were on reigning world champion Aditi Swami but the 17-year-old cracked under pressure to go down to eventual runner-up Tanja Gellenthien of Denmark 145-145 (9-10) in a shoot-off finish.

Despite a not-so-good start, Aditi managed to keep a slender one-point lead till the penultimate end. But in the final round, Tanja levelled things up with a perfect 30, as Aditi dropped one point to force a shoot-off where the Denmark archer sealed it with a perfect 10.

India will have a lone representative in the recurve section, where Dhiraj Bommadevara is pitted against Korean heavyweight Kim Woojin in a tough opening-round clash.

No Indian could make it in the women's recurve section.

This is the first time that five Indian archers have qualified for the year-ender world showpiece.

(With PTI inputs)