Star compound archer Abhishek Verma beat American Kris Schaff via shoot-off in a nerve-wracking final to win the compound men’s individual title in the Archery World Cup Stage-3 in Paris on Saturday.
Verma shot a 10 against Schaff’s nine in the shoot-off after the two archers were tied 148-148 in the gold medal match.
This was Verma’s second World Cup individual gold medal. He won the first one in Wroclaw, Poland, in 2015.
“That’s archery, it’s all about hits and misses. My heartbeat went up, so I just calmed myself down and kept my focus on the next arrow,” Verma said about the intense finish.
The 32-year-old Indian dominated from the beginning, scoring perfect 30s apiece in the first three of five attempts and establishing a two-point lead. Schaff fought back to level the scores and take the contest to the tiebreaker.
Earlier, Verma defeated Russian Anton Bulaev 146-138 in the semifinals to reach the title clash. Verma, who led 86-85 after the third attempt, scored perfect 30s in his last two attempts to ensure a medal for himself.
The 32-year-old fetched the lone medal for the country in the compound division.
In a neck-and-neck final clash, the duo dropped just two points each to be locked 148-all after the regulation five ends.
Starting off with 29, the Indian trailed by one point with Bulaev shooting three perfect 10s.
But Verma bounced back strongly with another 29 in the third, before stepping up in the penultimate end with three perfect 10s.
Heading into the final end with a three-point lead, Verma finished it off in style with three 10s including one closest to the centre.