London Olympics: Deepika too fails under high expectations, goes down to Britain’s Amy Oliver 6-2

There were a million voices screaming in Deepika Kumari’s ears, urging her to go all the way, says a report in The Times Of India, adding that the burden of hype, at times, can numb you down. “She tried to shut it all out and concentrated. This was the toughest job of her young life yet. She took a deep breath and concentrated hard again. An edgy eight in the first set was not a great start. By the time she was in the fourth set, trying to stay alive against her British competitor Amy Oliver, she seemed to have given up. Amy’s last shot was a perfect 10; Deepika managed a 9, looked up at the screen and hung her head,” adds the report.

She came out into the mixed zone, trying hard to compose herself. She did not want to be there, but managed the courage to mumble: “Hum jab tak samajh pate, match khatam ho gaya (Even before I could understand what was happening, it was over).”

Was it windy? “Yes, the wind was there… I tried to give my best but just don’t know what happened,” she said, desperately wanting the inquisition to end. Did she get nervous as her challenger was shooting perfect 10s? She looked up and shot back, “I was not worried. I always look at the yellow centre. I don’t take pressure. Pressure is never on my mind…,” her voice trailed.

Meanwhile The Telegraph reports that this afternoon at 4.25pm India time, Geeta Devi heard some of the saddest words a mother could hope to hear. “An hour ago, daughter Deepika Kumari (18) had crashed out of the Olympic archery individual recurve contest in the knockout stage to Britain’s Amy Oliver in a humiliating upset defeat of 2-6, ending India’s hopes of an archery medal. It was supposed to be Deepika’s dream Olympic debut, a dream that Jharkhand shared with dizzy anticipation. But world No. 1 lost to world No. 37 in the opening round. The dream proved wide off the mark, leaving fans, experts and the media shocked and bitter,” says the report.

But a mother is different. So Geeta consoled her daughter. “Saare log khush hain yahan. TV pe bahut achchi lag rahi thi. Tu chinta mat kar aur London se humlogon ke liye kuch leke aana. (Everyone is happy. You were looking pretty on TV. Don’t worry and come back with gifts from London for us),” she told Deepika over the telephone.

According to a report in The Indian Express, Indian archers’ dismal show came to an end as Deepika Kumari bowed out of women’s individual event after a 6-2 defeat against Amy Oliver of Britain in the opening round. In individual events, which is decided on best of five sets (three arrows each), one who wins a set irrespective of the margin gets two points. Even as both the archers ended up scoring a total of 104 each at the end, Oliver managed to win three sets.

The 18-year-old Ranchi girl could bag just one set, and that too mainly because of the rare error made by her opponent, who ended up shooting a four in one of her three chances in the second set. Deepika, a double gold medal winner at the Commonwealth Games held in Delhi two years ago, failed to hit even a single perfect 10 in four sets.