Archery on target for bigger surprises
INCHEON, South Korea—There was very little hype surrounding the archery squad sent here for the 17th Asian Games. Perhaps the only people who believed in the squad were the ones who are part of the team.
“May asim tayo dito (We are a threat here),” said archery association secretary general Clint Aranas.
Guess who people are talking about now.
Paul Marton dela Cruz shoots for at least a second silver medal for the country against top Iranian archer Esmaeil Ebadi while hoping to anchor the men’s compound team to the bronze medal on Saturday at 3 p.m. (2 p.m. in Manila) at Geyang Asiad Archery field here.
“I’ll just shoot and shoot my best and hope that God helps me win,” said Dela Cruz, after shooting a perfect first end and holding off Sandeep Kumar of India in a 141-135 quarterfinal triumph Thursday.
“I’m asking our kababayans (compatriots) back home to pray for me,” he added.
Dela Cruz said he promises to be as relaxed as possible in the semifinal duel against Ebadi to ease the pressure of carrying a country’s medal hopes on his shoulder.
“I’ll just think of my child,” said the new dad.
Dela Cruz, Earl Benjamin Yap and Ian Chipeco will also shoot for a bronze earlier at 10:50 a.m. after coming heartbreakingly close to an epic upset against world powerhouse South Korea in the semifinals of the men’s team compound Thursday, when they lost by a mere point, 228-227.
“Lalaban po tayo (We’ll fight to the end),” said dela Cruz.
Yap and Chipeco echoed the sentiment, saying they will fight their hearts out for flag and country.
“Ang mindset is to beat Iran,” said Chipeco.
“We just have to be focused,” said Yap, the squad’s playing coach. “We have a second chance to get a medal. We can do it.”
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