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Deepika, Bombayla, Manoj save the day

Woman archers Laishram Bombayla Devi and Deepika Kumari along with boxer Manoj Kumar were the only bright spots in an overall disappointing day for India at the Rio Olympics, with medal hopeful Jitu Rai, judoka Avtar Singh and weightlifter Satish Shivalingam crashing out of their respective disciplines.

Bombayla and Deepika advanced into the 1/8 Eliminations round of the women’s individual archery competion while Manoj stunned 2012 London Olympics bronze medallist Evaldas Petrauskas of Lithuania by a split decision in the Round of 32 of the men’s Light Welterweight (64kg) category here on Wednesday.

Bombayla beat Taipei’s Shih-Chia Lin 108-101 via 27-24, 27-24, 26-27, 28-26 at the Sambodromo.

Earlier, she defeated Austria’s Laurence Baldauff 105-98 in the 1/32 eliminations in the women’s individual round match.

Bombayla started the match against Lin with a nine pointer, following it up with a seven and an eight.

But the cumulative 24 points in the first set were not enough for her to win as Laurence scored three consecutive nine’s to take a three-point lead.

But Bombayla quickly found her rhythm to score 28 in the second round to win 28-24.

She maintained the momentum in the third set with three straight nine pointers, forcing her Austrian opponent to concede the second set 27-23.

The 31-year-old Manipuri completed her victory in the fourth set with a 28-26 margin.

Deepika also displayed red hot form, defeating the higher ranked Kristine Esebua of Georgia in the 1/32 eliminators before getting the better of Italy’s Guendalina Sartori of Italy in the 1/16 eliminators.

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