Star Indian archer Deepika Kumari finished ninth in the women’s individual ranking round to secure an easy first-round clash in the main event as the country’s Olympic campaign kicks-tarted at Tokyo’s Yumenoshima Park on Friday.
The world No.1 finished with 663 points, while 20-year-old Korean prodigy An San topped the qualification round with an Olympic record score of 680. Deepika will now have an easy first-round outing against world No.193 Karma of Bhutan, who finished 56th in the ranking round.
The Indian might run into San in the quarterfinal stage. Deepika had lost to her in straight sets during their only exchange in an Olympic Test event at the same venue in 2019.
The previous Olympic record score in the individual ranking round was 673, while the world record (692) is held by Kang Chae Wong, the world No.3 who finished third with 675 points for a Korean top-three in the qualification round.
Jang Minhee (677) finished second.
Deepika shot perfect 10s and X (closest to the centre) 30 times from her 72 arrows, while An San, who had defeated the Indian in straight sets in the final of the Tokyo Test Event in 2019, shot 36 10s and X.
The qualifying round results are used to seed the athletes and nations for the individual, mixed team and team competitions, deciding their opponents in the competition.
Archers shoot 72 arrows at the target set 70 metres away, in 12 series of six arrows. They are ranked from highest to lowest at the end of the round. An archers position after the ranking round becomes their seeding for matchplay. The Games will officially open this evening.