New Delhi | Jagran Sports Desk: India's medal tally at the Tokyo Paralympics mounts to 13 after Harvinder Singh created history and won the Bronze medal for the country on Friday in the men's individual recurve open. Harvinder Singh, earlier in the day, lost the semifinal match and moved into the bronze medal match.   

The Indian defeated South Korea's Min Su Kim by 6-5 after a shoot-off as both archers shared the spoils in the five sets to find a podium finish at the Yumenoshima Final Field. This is India's first medal in archery at the Games.

World No.23 Singh was the first athlete from India to win a gold medal at a major para competition in the 2018 Asian Games. An economics scholar from the Punjabi University, Patiala, Singh collected three shoot-off wins on the day starting with his triumphs in the opening rounds.

In the bronze playoff, the 31-year-old was leading 5-3 before the Korean clinched the fifth set shooting a perfect 10 to force a shoot-off where the Indian responded in style shooting a perfect 10 against Kim's 8 for a 6-5 (26-24, 27-29, 28-25, 25-25, 26-27) (10-8) win.

In the semifinals, Singh lost to world number 10 Kevin Mather of the USA 6-4 in an intense five-setter (25-28, 24-24, 25-25, 25-24, 24-26). Singh, who hails from a small village Guhla Cheeka near Kaithal in Haryana, was stretched to the fullest in the first two rounds, but he showed tremendous resilience to overcome his fancied opponents via shoot-offs.

In the first round of 32, Singh squandered a 4-0 lead against Stefano Trevisani after shooting a 7 in the third set as his Italian rival made it 5-5 (27-24, 26-22, 26-27, 25-25, 25-27) to force a shoot-off. Singh clinched the issue -- 6-5 (10-7) -- in style, shooting a perfect 10 in the tie-breaker as his rival managed just a 7.

In the last-16, Singh pipped former world number one Bato Tsydendorzhiev of Russia, once again by the thinnest of margins 6-5 (8-7). Singh effected a spectacular turnaround from 0-4 down to bring the match on an even keel 5-5 (26-28, 23-26, 29-26, 23-21, 28-28) and force a shoot-off where he edged out his Russian opponent 8-7.

In the quarters, Singh swept aside 49-year-old three-time Paralympian Maik Szarszewski of Germany 6-2 (25-21, 28-23, 25-28, 26-23) dropping just one set. Hailing from a middle-class farming family, Singh had dengue when he was just one-and-half years old and a local doctor administered him an injection that had an adverse effect and his legs stopped working properly.

 

(With Agency Inputs)

Posted By: Talibuddin Khan