T&T’s compound team, comprising top archers George Vire, Hasmath Ali and Rakesh Sookoo took home bronze in the team event at the World Ranking Tournament and Continental Qualification Archery Tournament held in Medellin, Colombia, last month. The compound trio, which took gold in Costa Rica last year, had to settle for third place, behind the top team, Mexico and second placed, home team, Colombia. Vire, Ali and Sookoo, along with US-based T&T recurve archer Daryl Ramnarace, took to the event where only three London 2012 Olympic spots were up for grabs.
Ramnarace placed 23rd with a score of 1,148 in the ranking round, before meeting Colombian Diego Torres in the elimination phase. Despite a close match, the set system rewarded the winner of each set, eliminating Ramnarace as a result. Torres was subsequently eliminted by Cuban Juan Carlos Stevens, who booked a place at the olympics for his country. Brazil and Colombia were the two other countries to secure Olympic berths at the event. In the men’s compound bow for the World Ranking Event, the team of Sookoo, Vire and Ali were seeded at 12th, 15th and 16th, respectively after the first round. Sookoo advanced into the elimination round via a first round bye, while George and Hasmath won their first round matches.
In the 1/16th round, Sookoo found a lead by two points over a Colombian opponent after nine arrows were executed, but then suffered a bad arrow and lost the match by a narrow two points. The Colombian went on to win the gold medal.
George Vire, despite shooting an excellent 144 out of a possible 150, lost to an even better Gerald Alvarez of Mexico, also by two points. Hasmath shot against the number one ranked Rodriguez of Mexico, but he was eliminated with a score of 136 to 143. Sixteen countries participated in the tournament. A similar compound team, but with an addition of Nikhil Kanhai is currently in El Salvador, engaged in the Pan American Championships, where they are competing against the top archers in the region.