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Prasad still in the hunt

By Our Special Correspondent

KOLKATA, JUNE 18. Satyadev Prasad was the lone Indian left in the fray in the German Grand Prix archery championship at Wyhl. Prasad, ranked 13th in the individual qualification, takes on the fifth-ranked Chinese Haifeng Xue in the round of eight.

Three other Indians — Tarundeep Rai, Majhi Sawaiyan and National champion Harish Chand Kerai — bit the dust. While Rai went out in the round of 32, Sawaiyan and Kerai were eliminated in the opening round itself. The Indian women, too, had failed to go beyond the round of 32 on Thursday.

Rai, who was ranked ninth, beat Mattias Eriksson of Sweden in the first round 166-149 but was unfortunate to lose to Jeff Henckels of Luxembourg 163-164. The 41st-ranked Henckels had scalped world champion Michele Frangilli of Italy in the first round 164-162, according to information received here on Friday.

Prasad's consistency in getting 160-plus scores kept him in good stead. While beating the 52nd-ranked Oibek Saidiyev of Kazakhstan, Prasad scored 163 to his rival's 156. And in the round of 32, Prasad conquered Lockoneco of Indonesia 162-160. In the pre-quarterfinals, Prasad beat the fourth-ranked Nash Roy of Great Britain 165-159.

Prasad, aiming to be the first Indian to be in the semifinals of a GP meet this year, would find the Chinese a tough customer. Fifth-ranked Xue scored above 165 in the first three rounds and is in great form. All the matches from the quarterfinals would be a 12-arrow affair for a total of 120. Prasad's season highest is the 117 in domestic circuit meets.

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