Paralympics Games 2020 | Rakesh finishes third, Chikara in top-10 in ranking round of archery competition

Jyoti Baliyan, who is the only female member to have qualified for the Paralympics, secured a 15th place ranking in the compound open event

Indian compound archer Rakesh Kumar shot a career-best 699 points out of a possible 720 to grab the third place in the ranking round of the men’s open section of the Paralympic Games here on Friday.

In the men’s recurve open category, 2019 Asian Para Championship winner Vivek Chikara finished in top-10.

World No. 11 Kumar, who won an individual gold medal at the first world ranking tournament in Dubai earlier this year, narrowly missed out the second spot to Iranian Ramezan Biabani who also totalled 699 but placed higher than the Indian for shooting more arrows closest to the centre (X).

The Indian shot 53 perfect 10s, including 17 closest to the centre, while his Iranian rival had 18 Xs.

Another Indian in the fray, Shyam Sundar Swami finished a lowly 21st with 682 points. Both the Indians were seeded straight into the second round in the draw of 64.

World No. 22 Jyoti Baliyan, who is the only Indian female member to have qualified for the Paralympics, secured a 15th place ranking in the compound open event.

A team silver medallist at the Asian Para Championships in 2019, Jyoti shot 671 points. She and Kumar got sixth ranking in the compound mixed pair open category.

The duo will open their campaign against Thailand in the compound mixed pair open which has a draw of 16.

In the men’s recurve open category, Chikara finished in top-10 after shooting 609 points, ahead of 2018 Para Asian Games champion Harvinder Singh who qualified as 21st seed.

Chikara shot 20 perfect 10s and 2 Xs in his 72 arrows, while Singh ended with 600 points to slip out of top-20.

The open event combines W2 (Wheelchair 2) and ST (Standing) classes. Athletes who have an impairment in the legs and use a wheelchair or have a balance impairment and shoot standing or resting on a stool can compete in open category.

In para archery, the use of assistive equipment or an assistant is allowed depending on the impairment, while a variety of techniques may be employed, including pulling the bowstring with the mouth.

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