Although the Bangladesh compound women's team and recurve individual archer Diya Siddique both won their respective finals, the rest of Bangladesh's archers failed in three other finals on the concluding day of the 3rd ISSF International Archery Championships at the Shaheed Ahsan Ullah Master Stadium in Tongi, Gazipur yesterday.
Bangladesh, the defending champions with five gold medals from the last edition, lost their crown to first time participants India, who had a youthful squad with ages ranging from 14 to 16.
Runners-up Bangladesh bagged two gold medals in total while India won four gold medals -- compound women's individual, compound men's team, recurve mixed and recurve men's team. Iran, Chinese Taipei, Germany and Thailand bagged one gold medal each.
Amid chilly weather after a morning drizzle at the venue, the Bangladesh compound women's team, comprised of Susmita Banik, Shyamoly Roy and Bonna Akter, beat India by 230-225 points in the final. The first set was was locked 57-57 but the girls in red and green held nothing back in the next three sets, outplaying their Indian counterparts, who were selected through the 'Khelo India' project.
Rather than following suit, the more experienced Bangladesh men's team lost to the school boys from India. The hosts, who made a frustrating start to score only 54 out of 60 points against India's 58 with the first six shots, never recovered and eventually lost the match by 228-231 set points.
Bangladesh also surrendered meekly in the recurve men's team final with a 1-5 set point defeat. The country's top archer, Roman Sana, then stirred hopes for the recurve men's individual final after winning the first set against Thailand's Denchal Thepna. However, Roman's dream to win an international gold medal on home soil remained elusive as Denchal won the final three sets.
“We had some good moments in this championships as the archers had good scores in the qualification round and compound women's team and Diya also did well although it is sad that the men's teams could not do well,” Bangladesh team's German coach Martin Frederick said. “If you compare this with the last championships, we could not produce good results but this time there were some strong opponents like India, Germany, Iran, Chinese Taipei and Thailand, who came here to participate for the first time.”
Indian coach Ranjeet Rajendra said, “We brought 16 out of 400 archers who participated in the Khelo India project. Of them, ninety percent had no international experience, having prepared under difference coaches, and I did not train any of them before this championship. But we knew that we need a good plan, some matches and mental preparation, and we did exactly what we needed for success.”