Atanu Das shot a 10 in the shoot-off to beat the Olympic champion. He had earlier beaten Yu-Cheng Deng, an Olympic silver medallist, in the round of 64.
Indian archer Atanu Das stunned Olympic champion Oh Jin-Hyek of South Korea 6-5 and progressed to the men’s individual round of 16 at the Tokyo Olympics on Thursday.
Oh, Jin-Hyek had won the men’s individual gold at London 2012 - the first South Korean to do so - and the men’s team gold at Tokyo 2020, beating the Indian men’s team along the way. Oh, Jin-Hyek also has a men’s team bronze from London 2012.
The windy conditions continued at the Yumenoshima Park Archery Field for a second-straight day and it led to some inconsistent shooting.
Both Atanu Das and Oh Jin-Hyek began with an 8 with their first arrow. The South Korean then shot two 9s and Atanu Das could only shoot an 8 and 9 and the Indian lost the first set 25-26.
The duo then split the second and third sets 27-27 each. Atanu Das shot three 9s each in both sets. Oh, Jin-Hyek could have won both sets with his final arrows but was off the mark.
Atanu Das leveled the scores in the fourth set, shooting 27 (8, 9, 10) to Oh Jin-Hyek’s 22 (9, 7, 6).
Both archers tied the fifth set with identical scores of 28, shooting 10, 9, 9 with their three arrows, and moved into a shoot-off.
Oh, Jin-Hyek could only shoot 9 and with the match on the line, Atanu Das caught the edge of the inner 10 with his arrow to pull off a major upset.
“I just got into my mind that it was going to be a tie, and I’ve faced tie games previously. I knew he (Oh) had the first shot and if he shoots a 9 I had to go for the bullseye. Fortunately, I got it and won the match,” Atanu Das said after his win.
“I was fully focused on the match. I have tied a match with him in another event, so I had that experience. I was focused on the moment and maintained my nerves to win today.”
Atanu Das had earlier beaten Chinese Taipei’s Yu-Cheng Deng 6-4 in the round of 64. Yu-Cheng Deng won a silver medal at Tokyo 2020 with the men’s team on Monday.
Atanu Das and wife Deepika Kumari, the women’s world No. 1, are the only remaining Indian archers at Tokyo 2020. Deepika Kumari has also progressed to the women’s individual round of 16.
However, Pravin Jadhav and Tarundeep Rai lost in the round of 32 on Wednesday.
India also bowed out early from the mixed team archery event when Deepika Kumari and Pravin Jadhav lost to eventual gold-medallists South Korea.