India bagged its second gold medal at the Archery World Cup Stage 1 as the recurve mixed team of Tarundeep Rai and Ridhi Phor came form behind to pip Great Britain in the shoot-off here on Sunday. (More Sports News)
Pairing up for the first time ever, two-time Olympian Rai and the young Ridhi trailed twice 0-2 and 2-4 but held their nerve to close out the tie 5-4 (35-37, 36-33, 39-40, 38-37) (18-17) enroute their maiden gold medal.
India thus concluded its campaign in the first event of the calendar year with two gold medals, the first coming through the compound men's team of Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan and Aman Saini on Saturday.
Incidentally for the 38-year-old Rai, who won the Asian Games silver in Guangzhou 2010, this was his first-ever mixed team medal in the World Cup.
And for 17-year-old Ridhi, this was her first ever World Cup medal as the duo showed amazing character to come back twice and seal the issue in the shoot-off with two 9s. The British duo of Bryony Pitman and Alex Wise shot 9 and 8.
It was a disastrous start for the new-look Indian pair as it shot the red-ring twice (8-8) to lose the first set by two points.
But Rai and Ridhi were able to level the score in the second set, thanks to two below-par rounds (7-8) by the British pair.
The third set was a high-scoring affair as Rai and Ridhi shot 39/40, but their rivals went ahead by a point, drilling in a perfect 40/40 with two Xs (closest to the centre) to push the Indian duo behind once again.
Not ready to give up, Rai and Ridhi shot two 10s to put pressure on their rivals, who misfired in the red ring once, to seal the match.