(Rio de Janeiro, Aug 10, 2016) Archer Atanu Das and boxer Vikas Krishan entered the pre-quarterfinals, while the men’s hockey team stood up to the challenge posed by Argentina to virtually sew up a last-eight spot on a reasonably successful day for Indian athletes in the Olympic Games here.
Das first defeated Nepalese rival Jitbahadur Muktan 6-0 and then vanquished Cuba’s Adrian Andres Puentes Perez 6-4 to enter the pre-quarters where he will face a tough rival in former world no. 5 South Korean archer Lee Seung-Yun on August 12.
Lee was a part of the victorious South Korean outfit that won a gold medal in the team Recurve event at the ongoing Games.
What was impressive about Das was the manner in which he held his nerve during his last shot in the fifth and final set.
The score was 19-18 and a ’10-pointer’ would have ensured his place in the last-16 even before his opponent had aimed for his final strike.
Das did not disappoint as he hit the ‘Bull’s Eye’ taking an unassailable lead and winning the final set 29-28.
The Kolkata-based Das defeated his Cuban rival 28-26 29-26 26-27 27-28 29-28.
Earlier in the day, he made short work of Muktan in three straight games with a comprehensive scoreline of 29-26 29-24 30-26, enjoying a fair lead in all three sets including a hat-trick of Perfect 10’s in the final game.
In men’s hockey, India survived a final quarter onslaught from Argentina for a nail-biting 2-1 win that enhanced their quarter-final chances.
The second win in the pool stage has virtually secured India a quarterfinal berth as they rose to the second position with six points.
Later in the evening, former Asian Games gold-medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg) gave a perfect start to India’s boxing campaign, beating American greenhorn Charles Conwell to enter the pre-quarterfinals.
The 24-year-old Vikas defeated the Olympic debutant 3-0 in his opening contest, which came alive only in the final three minutes, to make the last-16. Vikas will now face Turkey’s Onder Sipal, who got the better of Zambian Benny Muziyo in a fiercely-contested opening bout.