Verma prevents Korean sweep of Asian individual titles

Pictures courtesy Bangladesh Archery Federation.

India’s Abhishek Verma beat Korean compound man Kim Jongho to gold at the 2017 Asian Archery Championships in Dhaka, Bangladesh, preventing a clean sweep of the individual crowns by Korea.

“I did my best. Everybody prepared to get this achievement, to get this medal, and right now it’s just a good feeling,” said Verma, who was runner-up at the last Asian Games in Incheon in 2014.

“We are already preparing for the Asian Games [in Jakarta in 2018] just like we did last time, because we did very well. We’d like to repeat the same result this time, and every time.”

Korea won gold in each of the other three individual medal categories courtesy 2013 World Archery Champion Lee Seungyun, reigning World Archery Champion Song Yun Soo and Youth Olympic Games bronze medallist Lee Eun Gyeong.

Lee, who shot against teammate Choi Minseon for recurve women’s gold in her first individual senior final, beat recently-married Ki Bo Bae in the semifinals and won the championship in a shoot-off.

Verma and Kim’s compound men’s final ran tight all the way.

The Indian archer had a one point advantage after nine arrows, but for the rest of the 15-arrow match the scores at the end of each end were tied.

Jongho finished with seven 10s in a row – and left Verma needing a perfect last series to force the tiebreaker at 147 points each.

Down to a single-arrow shoot-off, Korea’s Kim posted a mid-10. Abhishek, shooting second, also shot a 10 – but further into the middle, touching the X-ring.

It marked the first non-Korean gold medal of the meet after the nation already won both mixed team crowns.

Competition continues in Bangladesh’s capital city with the Asian qualification tournament for the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires in 2018 and the team eliminations and finals of the Asian Championships.

The 2017 Asian Archery Championships run 25 to 30 November in Dhaka, Bangladesh.