Misfiring archers face uncertain future after poor 2012


Way off the mark in the London Olympics, future is tense for India's much-hyped archers after a woeful 2012 during which the Sports Ministry derecognised the association for election irregularities.

Lack of planning came to fore in their debacle at the London Olympics as the six-member contingent, boasting of world number one Deepika Kumari, drew a blank at the Games.

In a sport that requires fine precision, the archers peaked exactly a month before the Olympics when the men's team won the quota places in the World Cup Stage III.

From there, it was downward slide, as the archers could not guard against complacency and made their exits in either round one or two of the Olympics.

India had hoped for at least two medals -- one in the women's individual through Deepika and the second from the men's trio of Tarundeep Rai, Jayanta Talukdar and Rahul Banerjee who had shown fine form at the qualifiers in Ogden amonth back.

But London came as a rude jolt.

Deepika made a first round exit, ditto for Chekrovolu Swuro, while Laishram Bombayla Devi, in her second Olympic appearance advanced to second round of 32. As a team, they failed to go beyond round of 16.

The men's team suffered a similar fate, bowing out in the first round, the prequarters, while in the individual event, India's best bet, Jayanta Talukdar, qualified as 53rd seed and went down in the first round.

The other two members, Tarundeep Rai and Rahul Banerjee, could cross the first round hurdle but were thrashed by their respective opponents in the second round of 32.

India had earned the quota places in the women's section through the World Championship in July last year, a year before the Olympics, but the Archery Association of India had jumped the gun announcing that the same trio of Deepika, Bombayla and Chekrovolu would go to London.

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