India's Jayanta Talukdar made it through five successive rounds to pit himself against Athens Olympics gold medallist Marco Galiazzo of Italy in the final of the recurve section of the Archery World Cup Stage 2 at Porec (Croatia) on Thursday.
The 23-year-old Guwahati-born Talukdar, an assistant manager with Tata Steel in Jamshedpur, is eyeing his second World Cup gold medal in the sport.
Porec has been a happy hunting ground for Indians as Talukdar began it all in 2006 winning the individual gold, the year in which his world ranking rose to two.
He figured in the World Cup finals in Mexico but finished last among four contestants.
Last year, it was compatriot Rahul Banerjee who made the final in Porec only to finish second.
With the day turning out to be a disappointing one for the Indians in the recurve section, Talukdar's display was the only silver lining.
Second-seeded Talukdar began with a fluent win against 63rd ranked Brazilian Luis Felipe Paulinyi (113-105), conquered two Chinese, 34th ranked Hai Feng Xue (112-111) in the second round and 18th placed Yu Xing (113-111) in the third round, according to information received.
He then ousted 10th seed Baljinima Tsyrempilov of Russia (112-110) in the quarter-finals and edged out 46th ranked Jean-Charles Valladont of France (112-111) in the last four stage.
Talukdar shot consistently with 112 points and above to make himself a strong contender for the gold medal.
Among other Indians, only Rahul and Chekrovolu Swuro managed to reach the last 16 round.
In the pre-quarter-finals, seventh-ranked Rahul fell to Tsyrempilov 110-113, while Sophie Dodemont of France eliminated 23rd placed Chekrovolu 104-105.
The rest of the Indians bowed out in the second round of the recurve section.