Russian recurve women claim first world title in 28 years

2 August 2015
Copenhagen (DEN)
Entering the Copenhagen 2015 World Championships, the nation had not won a world title in the recurve division since the nation became the Russian Federation in 1991.

Russia’s last world championships victory was at Lausanne 1989 event when Stanislav Zabrodsky won the men’s individual and team titles as part of the Soviet Union. The last victory of the women’s team went back to 1987 in Adelaide, Australia.

India had never won a world title in any categories – so whichever team took gold would be writing a little bit of history.

Deepika Kumari, Majhi Laxmirani and Buriuly Rimil were just a set away from taking the coveted gold when they led Russia 4-0 after the first two sets.

The nerves set in and the Indians lost focus. Kumari, Laxmirani and Rimil lost the next two sets, shooting just 52 and 50 points after posting 56 and 54 in the first two. A draw at 4-4 and the match and world champion title went to a shoot-off.

“There was a lot of pressure and it made us make a lot of mistakes,” Buriuly admitted. “We couldn’t control our nerves, we were very, very nervous.” Her teammates agreed.

Inna Stepanova and Ksenia Perova, who were part of the team that finished fourth at the London 2012 Olympics, were seeded fifth in Copenhagen with 19-year old Tuyana Dashidorzhieva.

The Russian women walked out into the Christiansborg Palace arena to prove their win over top seed team Korea in the semifinals was no luck. They hit 10-9-9 with the tiebreaker arrows to take the 2015 world title.

“We didn’t care about the scores. We believed we could win and so we did,” Stepanova said. “The atmosphere was great, and this brings a huge amount of prestige for our team ahead of Rio 2016.”