India’s Atanu Das stunned South Korea’s Oh Jin-Hyek 6-5 to enter the pre-quarterfinals of the archery men’s individual event at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.
Oh is one of the most decorated archers of all time, having won gold at the London Olympics in 2012. He was also part of that Koeam team that won gold in the men’s team event this year. He’s also the first Korean male archer to win an individual Olympic gold medal.
Atanu is seeded 35th on the basis of the men’s individual ranking round at the start of the Tokyo Games, while Oh was seeded third. Korea, an archery powerhouse, has three of the top four seeds in the men’s individual event, with USA’s Brady Ellison, who knocked India’s Pravin Jadhav out of the competition on Wednesday, seeded second.
The early proceedings in the match went the way of the Korean. In the first set, Oh shot two 9s and an 8 for a total of 26. Atanu managed two 8s and a 9 to lose the set by one point.
In the second set, Oh shot 10, 9 and 8 for 27, while Atanu shot three 9s to split honours in the set. Oh led the match 3-1 at that point. In the third set, both archers shot the exact same scores to split points again, Oh leading the match 4-2.
Oh’s poor fourth set allowed Atanu back into the match. The Korean shot 9, 7 and 6 for 22, while Atanu shot 10, 9 and 8 for 27, levelling the match 4-4 to keep his Tokyo Olympics campaign alive.
In the fifth set, both Oh and Atanu shot a 10 and two 9s for 28. Tied at 5-5, the match went into a single-arrow shoot-off. Oh shot 9 and Atanu shot 10 to seal the upset victory.
In the pre-quarterfinals on Saturday, Atanu will face 46th seed Takaharu Furukawa of Japan. In the women’s individual event, Deepika Kumari will take on Ksenia Perova of the Russian Olympic Committee (ROC) in the pre-quarterfinals on Friday.