Sports

Archers get another chance to hit the mark

Saba Nayakan Kolkata | Updated on June 09, 2013

Olympian Deepika Kumari during an archery nationals finals in Chennai (file photo).

India will embark upon a challenging international tour to Antalya in Turkey to make a huge mark in the World Cup Archery Stage 2 meet. Having done reasonably well at the World Cup Stage 1 in Shanghai by winning two silver medals in women’s recurve bow individual and mixed recurve bow team, and a bronze medal in the women’s compound bow team event, India came back satisfied under Korean coach Lim Chae Woong, who returned to coach the National side after many years. True to her standing as World No. 3, Deepika Kumari was instrumental in winning both the silver medals. The bronze medal was a surprise gift from the new-look women’s compound team, comprising Trisha Deb, P. Lily Chanu and Gagandeep Kaur.

In fact, Gagandeep also figured in the Indian women’s compound team winning the first-ever World Cup medal — silver — at Ogden two years ago. The other members were Jhano Hansdah and Manjudha Soy.

Going into the second major tournament of the season, India is a creditable fourth in the WC ranking. While it is very encouraging to see the overall development of the sport in India, the lack of success of the Indian men’s team in the international arena in recent times has been a worrying factor.

There were days when only the men’s recurve bow team finished at the podium. But, since the arrival of Deepika into the National side, the women’s outfit has won many medals, including the prestigious silver at the World Championship at Turin, Italy, in 2011. Deepika alone figured in many finals.

Rahul Banerjee and Jayanta Talukdar are the most seasoned campaigners in the men’s recurve side. The duo had either Tarundeep Rai or Mangal Singh Champia as the third member. This crack combination earned India many podium finishes.

The current season proved to be different as Atanu Das and Rajib Basumatary, two young talents, have qualified to represent the country. National coaches feel that the new combination will need some time to settle down before producing the desired result.

Unlike their women counterparts, the men compound archers are finding the shooting standard very competitive.

Yet, the National champion Rajat Chauhan’s successful entry into the quarterfinals of the Shanghai WC was indeed laudable. With a bit of support from other three archers, India hopes to end reasonably well at Antalya.

> sabanayakan.s@thehindu.co.in

Published on June 09, 2013

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