Indian archer Pravin Jadhav knocked out world number two Galsan Bazarzhapov in his opening match but suffered a heavy defeat to world champion Brady Elison in the next to make a second-round exit in the men's individual section at the Tokyo Olympics here on Wednesday. The 25-year-old Olympic debutant was at his best in his first-round match, beating Bazarzhapov of the Russian Olympic Committee in straight sets. But, he could not continue his impressive form and succumbed to Elison, the American world number one in his next match.
Elison too was ordinary, especially in the second and third sets where he misfired in the red rings with two 8s, but Jadhav was miserable and hit two 7s and 8s in four arrows to join his senior Army colleague Tarundeep Rai in making a second-round exit.
Rai too had made a second-round exit, going down to Itay Shanny of Israel in a tight shoot-off finish for a heartbreaking exit in his swansong Olympics. The couple duo of Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari remained the only two Indians in the fray in their respective individual matches.
Jadhav, who was the best Indian with a 31st place in the ranking round, had raised expectations for the misfiring Indian archers as he dropped just one point to win the first set en route to a stunning 6-0 win against Bazarzhapov under windy conditions at the Yumenoshima Park here. Fresh from winning the title at the Final Qualifier for Tokyo Games in Paris last month, Bazarzhapov drilled in two 10s in the next set. But the wind got the better of him as he misfired his next three arrows (7-8-7), while Jadhav remained unfazed and hit consistently in the 9-10 rings to seal the match.
A repeat of his first-round scores of 29-28-27 would have been enough in the tricky second-round clash against Ellison who had a sequence of 28-27-26. But the inexperienced Jadhav looked completely out of sorts and shot 27-26-23 that snuffed out any little chance he had for advancing in the second round.
Earlier, Rai lost to Itay Shanny of Israel in a tight shoot-off finish for a heartbreaking second-round exit in his last Olympics. Both players were locked 5-5 but Shanny, who is 15 years younger to Rai, sealed the match 10-9 with a perfect score in the shoot-off.
The world number 92 Israeli, who had knocked out Japanese team event bronze medalist Muto Hiroki in the first round, was superior to the Indian at the death as he shot three 10s from the final four arrows to sail into the pre-quarterfinals. This was the second successive round two exit for three-time Olympian Rai who had made his Games debut at Athens 2004. In the 2012 London Olympics too, Rai had lost in the second round.
The 37-year-old Army man, who had a thrilling come-from-behind 6-4 win over Oleksii Hunbin of Ukraine in the first round, once again showed remarkable poise as he bounced back to lead 5-3 from a 0-2 deficit. Needing a tie in the fifth set to move into last-16, Rai faltered and Shanny won the set by two points, drilling in two 10s and a nine, as against the Indian's sequence of 9-8-9.
A perfect 10 kept eluded Rai and the world number 54 started the proceedings in the shoot-off with a 9, while Shanny sealed the issue with a 10. Rai was severely affected by wind as he shot a poor seven to lose the first set by four points before levelling the match 2-2 by winning the second set by slender margin of one point.
A series of six 9s by Shanny meant that Rai snatched a 5-3 lead but failed to tie the fifth set.