Rio Olympics: Atanu Das, men’s hockey team advance; Heena Sidhu, Dattu Bhokanal exit

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Rio Olympics: Atanu Das, men's hockey team advance; Heena Sidhu, Dattu Bhokanal exit
Rio Olympics: Atanu Das, men's hockey team advance; Heena Sidhu, Dattu Bhokanal exit

Little fancied archer Atanu Das stormed into the pre-quarterfinals of the individual event while the men’s hockey team stood up to the challenge posed by Argentina to virtually sew up a last-eight spot in the Rio Olympics 2016 on Tuesday.

Das first defeated Nepalese rival Jitbahadur Muktan 6-0 and then vanquished Cuba’s Adrian Andres Puentes Perez 6-4 to enter the pre-quarters where he will face a tough rival in former world No 5 South Korean archer Lee Seung-Yun on 12 August.

Lee was a part of the victorious South Korean outfit that won a gold medal in the team Recurve event at the ongoing Games.

What was impressive about Das was the manner in which he held his nerve during his last shot in the fifth and final set.

The score was 19-18 and a ’10-pointer’ would have ensured his place in the last-16 even before his opponent had aimed for his final strike.

Das did not disappoint as he hit the ‘Bull’s Eye’ taking an unassailable lead and winning the final set 29-28.

The Kolkata-based Das defeated his Cuban rival 28-26 29-26 26-27 27-28 29-28.

Earlier in the day, he made short work of Muktan in three straight games with a comprehensive scoreline of 29-26 29-24 30-26, enjoying a fair lead in all three sets including a hat-trick of Perfect 10’s in the final game.

In men’s hockey, India survived a final quarter onslaught from Argentina for a nail-biting 2-1 win that enhanced their quarter-final chances.

The second win in the pool stage has virtually secured India a quarterfinal berth as they rose to the second position with six points.

India dominated Argentina in the first three quarters but came under tremendous pressure from the Los Leones in the final 15 minutes during which they conceded as many as five penalty corners.

Trailing 0-2, the Argentines played all out hockey in the final quarter as the Indians looked out of sorts.

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