Mens Individual Round of 64/32
For some countries, the individual rounds are their only shot at gold, with that pressure hanging on the shoulders of lone archers. For India, Atanu Das is that lone wolf, but his hunger for gold is vivid in a crowd of sharpshooters. Das’ day started against Nepal’s Jitbahadur Muktan, and the arrows fell like rain in the Amazon. Das scored 88 out of 90 possible points, and only missed two arrows from achieving a perfect match. Muktan stood no chance, losing all three sets for Das’ advancement to the next round.
Das showed off his skill again, this time against Adrian Andres Puente Perez of Cuba. The Indian capped off the first two sets with victories, but Perez would battle back winning the third and fourth by just one point each. In crunch time in the fifth, Das used everything he had physically and mentally to shoot two tens for the win. His efforts led him to the round of 16 against Lee Seungyun.
For Lee, his journey began against home shooter Daniel Xavier, defeating the Brazilian with ease 6-2. Come next round the South Korean saw Spanish archer Miguel Alvarino Garcia beside him for yet another simple outing. Lee stood calm in the midst of his opposition, putting on the pressure even when he wasn’t readying his bow. Garcia couldn’t regain himself after shooting a four in one of his sets, giving all the power to Lee for a 7-1 win.
Not everything was as easy for Ricardo Soto of Chile, though, who fought till the last arrow against Anton Prilepov. Prilepov defined consistency shooting 27 in every set to win one and draw two. Soto never scored below an eight and battled his way to a shootout, where both men drew a ten in their final shot. For the Chilean, his proved to be closer to the center gifting him a win. With such confidence Soto moved on to trample Brazilian Bernardo Oliveira, 7-1 thanks to three tens. He’ll now have to ready his aim going up against Sjef van den Berg, who is a favorite to take home a medal.
So, as two Brazilian archers are eliminated, so is the third. Marcus D’almeida or A.K.A the “Neymar of archery” lost to a highly touted Jake Kaminski later in the afternoon 6-2. The 19-year-old Brazilian shot poor in the first set which included a five, but took advantage of Kaminski’s mere 26 in the second, tying up the match. But the American charged back with consecutive 29’s to win it, bringing him to face fellow countryman Brady Ellison in an awkward bout in the round of 32.
Ellison rode his fine form and fantastic year of shooting to a perfect third set against Kaminski. His two tens in the fourth would seal the deal to beat his team competition partner, keeping his dream for gold as alive as his shooting.
Women’s Individual Round of 64/32
As for the women, the day got off to a fiery start from North Korean Kang Un-ju. Kang won back-to-back matches, beating Brazilian Sarah Nikitin and Swede Christine Bjerendal for a spot in the sweet 16. Meanwhile, her future rival Chang Hyejin comes in sixth ranked in the world, meaning she’ll have to put on one of her best performances. Chang bested her opponents by a difference of two sets or more in the morning, even scoring 111 against Ukraine’s Lidiia Sichenikova.
Making her name known especially in her home of Great Britain was Naomi Folkard. Her skills showed to be clutch in the morning, nabbing a win on the shootout against Ika Mochmawati. But the eye opener arrived in her second match where she outright walked through the match featuring Kaori Kawanaka. The final score ended 83-74, upsetting the number ten archer in this year’s Olympics.
Lastly for Russia came an up and down day for all three of their archers, the downer being the loss of Tuiana Dashidorzhieva to Cao Hui of China 6-4 and Ksenia Perova in the round of 32. Although the upside came to be the victor of Perova, who was fellow Russian Inna Stepanova. Stepanova no doubt felt the elephant in the room but her performance showed no sign of lapse, racking up 30 points in the third set. Her opponent will be decided tomorrow with the odds pointing to Choi Misun.