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provide a preview of the Pyeongchang Games because about half of the women who

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    Rio -- The Indian womens archery team lost to Russia in the quarterfinals, going down 25-23 in a shoot-off at the Rio Olympics on Sunday.The Indian team, consisting of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhi and Bombayla Devi, won two sets to level scores at 4-4 before losing the shoot-off, which had all the archers from both teams firing an arrow each.It was a heartbreaking exit for India, who fought back after a bumpy start against the world champions. After scoring just 48 of the possible 60 points to concede the first set, they responded with a vastly improved showing in the next two.The Russians, who scored 55 points to take the first set, dropped their level only by a whisker but the Indian girls were quick to swoop in. Two perfect tens among their six shots in the set and a score of 53 meant the match was now on level terms. Each set win is awarded with two points and the teams were now tied 2-2.In the third set, the Indian charge clearly rattled the Russians who had their worst set of the match, slipping to just 50 points. With Indias talisman Deepika Kumari finding her verve and Bombalya Devi also nailing a perfect ten, India took the set and with it led the contest. Even a draw in the final set would have been enough to ensure qualification for the semifinals.However, urged on by a vociferous corner, the Russian girls started strongly at this make or break stage. Despite Deepika and Laxmi scoring perfect tens once each in the set, they went down by a two point margin and the match now reached a crescendo.Each of the archers had one shot each with the sum total counting for victory. Previous scores counted for nothing and the Russians threw the early challenge by scoring a perfect ten. Bombalya missed her mark to hit a 7, putting India immediately on the back foot. A 6 by Russias second archer gave the Indians a window of opportunity and Laxmi responded with an 8.The third Russian archer hit a 9 leaving Deepika with the unenviable task of hitting bullseye to ensure a tie and keep India alive. She could only manage an 8 and with it, a disconsolate Indian team exited the event, much to the dismay of a robust Indian support group at the venue.?Of the 231 points scored by India, Bombayla shot 79, Laxmirani 75 and Deepika 77 points respectively.It is disappointing, but it is also confidence-boosting since Russia is a strong team, Bombayla later told ESPN. It will help us improve our performance in the future. Competing at the Olympics is a big deal. Reaching the quarterfinals is a huge improvement from our previous performances.The event was staged at the Sambodromo, where the annual carnival in Rio begins from. The venue itself is pretty rudimentary, with unkempt approach roads and staircases, but the bewitching backdrop more than compensates for it. The competition was held on an overcast day with dark, though not menacing clouds lurking as the quarterfinals got underway.Two of the Indian girls, Deepika and Bombayla, were part of the team that put in a dismal performance at London four years ago, where the winds at the Lords cricket ground torpedoed their campaign. They arrived in Rio better prepared, but the coach Purnima Mahato felt that the conditions did not make it easy for them.?We were trailing 0-2 at the start of the day and managed to make it 4-2 later on. But the wind was quite strong when it was our turn in the final stages. Even the spectators could tell it was making it difficult, she said.?You have to readjust your aim according to the force and the direction of the wind. It was difficult to keep the bow-hand steady.The archers will now compete in the individual events that begin on Monday.? Mathieu Perreault Stanley Cup Jersey. The No. 1-ranked Nadal tweaked his back warming up for the Australian Open final, which he lost almost four weeks ago in a major upset against Stanislas Wawrinka. His first stop after the layoff is the clay in Rio as he tests the back and tries to stay healthy for the French Open in three months. Jacob Trouba Stanley Cup Jersey. Duchene scored two goals and had an assist, helping the Colorado Avalanche beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 on Friday night to match the best 10-game start in team history. - Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is not a fan of his teams use of the wildcat formation, saying "it makes you look like a high school offence. Connor Hellebuyck Stanley Cup Jersey. The defence is doing its part, too. Drew Brees threw a pair of touchdown passes in the first half and the guys on the other side made sure that was enough, sending the Saints to a 17-13 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Thursday night. Dustin Byfuglien Stanley Cup Jersey. Scott Kazmir allowed four hits in seven shutout innings, Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer in a three-run first inning and the Indians maintained their hold on an AL wild-card spot with a 4-1 win over the Houston Astros on Saturday night. PLYMOUTH, Mich. -- Nearly 18 million people were watching on TV when the Canadian womens hockey team rallied from a two-goal, third-period deficit to beat the U.S. 3-2 in overtime to win Olympic gold in 2014.A few thousand fans are expected to show up when the Canadians play the Americans at USA Hockey Arena in suburban Detroit on Saturday in the first Team USA Winter Champions Series, resuming one of the best rivalries on ice, and many more will be tuned in on NBCSN. The two teams will meet again Monday night in Sarnia, Ontario, wrapping up a home-and-home set of friendlies that will likely stoke the flames of an emotionally charged series.Its womens hockey at its finest, said Megan Bozek, who plays defense for the U.S. Expect blood, sweat and tears put into every shift, every period, until the last puck drops. .... The heart, the passion, the grit that we play with, and that Canada plays with, its the best 60 minutes of hockey that youll see in womens hockey.Even though the stakes will be low for the national teams, the intensity is expected to be high as extremely competitive athletes hope to help their country win while doing enough to earn a spot on the team for the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation world championship in the same venue this spring and the Olympics the following year.And unlike NHL players , everyone knows the best female hockey players will be going for gold in South Korea in about 14 months. Canada and the U.S., though, are helmets and shoulder pads above the rest of the world.The Canadians have won four straight Olympic golds, beating the Americans in three of those finals. The U.S. beat Canada in 1998 when womens ice hockey became an Olympic sport. Only Sweden has also finished among the top two at the Olympics, earning silver in 2006, and the rest of the field has had to settle for bronze medals.Since the first IIHF womens world championships in 1990, the Canadians and Americans have not allowed another country to advance to the finals. The U.S. beat Canada earlier this year at the world championships, winning the eight-nation tournament for the third straight time over Canada and sixth time in seven opportunities.We take that seriously and it still hurts, Canadian forward Haley Irwiin acknowledged.dddddddddddd Its a great time of year for us to play them again in a way we havent in the past. Its a great opportunity to see where were at.USA Hockey believes it is set up for continued success, including at the Olympics where it will desperately seek an elusive gold medal. Since losing a heartbreaker in Russia, the Americans have won seven of 10 closely contested games against Canada at five international events. With a deep and talented pool of players, USA Hockey invited 37 prospects to it training camp this week and a vast majority of them have already finished their college careers.In 2010, we had nine or 10 post-grad players in our pool and now we have 24, said Reagan Carey, general manager of the U.S. national team. Thats a significant leap.And, its not a leap to say these women are truly doing it for the love of the game because none of them are, or will, get rich by playing hockey. The most an American or Canadian woman can make, in fledgling pro hockey leagues and with financial support from USA Hockey or Canadas Athlete Assistance Program, is about $35,000 in U.S. dollars.All of us are making a sacrifice and we realize that, said Anne Schleper, who plays defense for the Americans and for the Buffalo Beauts in the National Womens Hockey League. Womens hockey has come a long way, but it still has a long way to go.With a little more than a year to go before the 2018 Olympics, the games Saturday and Monday will provide a preview of the Pyeongchang Games because about half of the women who participated in the dramatic gold medal game in Sochi will be on the ice. The two teams never just show up and go through the motions when theyre on the ice together, either.This rivalry transcends not just womens hockey or womens sports, but sports in general, Carey said. Whatever rivalry you can think of, magnify that, because thats what its going to look like. This rivalry has been happening since the early 1990s and every game is a battle.Were determined to settle that in 2018, but you get a glimpse of that.---Follow Hockey Writer Larry Lage at Wholesale Jerseys ' ' '

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