India's recurve archers, who had a nightmarish qualification round in the women's event, bounced back strongly to storm into the final, confirming their first medal at the ongoing World Cup Stage 3 in Paris on Thursday.
A day after all of them slipped out of top-30 in the qualifying round to get a lowly 13th seed, the trio of Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat and Simranjeet Kaur beat Ukraine, Britain and Turkey en route the summit clash. They will be against Chinese Taipei on Sunday.
The Indian women's recurve trio started off by eliminating fourth-seed Ukraine 5-1 (57-53 57-54 55-55). Against Great Britain in the quarterfinals, they dropped just four points to down their opponents 6-0 (59-51 59-51 58-50).
In the semifinals, they had a slow start, aggregating 56 in the first set but their eighth-seeded Turkish rivals Gulnaz Coskun, Ezgi Basaran and Yasemin Anagoz shot a poor 51 to concede the first set by five points. The Indians stepped up in the second set to edge out their rivals by one-point before they went on to lose their first set of the day when the Turkish team won the third 55-54 to make it 2-4.
Needing a tie in the fourth set to confirm their passage to the final, the Indians held their nerve and stood to their task for a 5-3 (56-51 57-56 54-55 55-55) win. Luck also was on their side as they did not have to face their nemesis Koreans as the top-seeds were upset by eighth-seeded Turkish team in the quarters.
In the final on Sunday, they will be up against the third seed Chinese Taipei, who have Rio Olympics team bronze medallist Lei Chien-Ying in the line up.
The men's recurve team of Tarundeep Rai, Jayanta Talukdar and Pravin Jadhav, seeded eighth, was eliminated after losing first round against Switzerland. Having got a bye into the pre-quarters, the Indian trio lost 4-5 to Florian Faber, Keziah Chabin and Thomas Rufer in the shoot-off (53-57 58-54 49-53 58-50) (25-25).
The shoot-off also was a tie and the Swiss team was declared winner since its final arrow landed close to the centre. Locked two-all, Indians suffered badly in the third set shooting a series of five 8s, which proved to be decisive in the end.