Jayanta and Co Out to Break India's Olympic Hoodoo

Published: 04th February 2015 06:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2015 03:52 AM   |  A+A-

KOCHI:Back at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, the Indian archery team’s only genuine hope of a medal was Limba Ram. Now, 23 years down the line, as the country warms up for the 2016 Rio Olympics, the pool of worthy talent in archery is vibrant. It includes former World No 1 Deepika Kumari, Olympians Bombayla Devi, Tarundeep Rai, Mangal Singh Champia and Jayanta Talukdar among several others.

Jayanta-Talukdar.jpgBut a medal in the Olympics has always eluded them, despite their potential. Though they have displayed commendable performances in Asia and world championships over the last three years, the archers invariably returned empty handed after each Olympics so far — be it in Athens in 2004, Beijing in 2008 or London in 2012.

So, will that change for the good in 2016 at Rio? Indian coach Ravi Shankar thinks it will. According to him the prospects are stronger for India to win a medal because of the amount of exposure the elite archers have gained over the last few years. “In the last one year alone, the Indian team has participated in 13 international events, including a World Cup final, four World Cup Stages and four Asia Cups,” Ravi said.

On the other hand, Jayanta, who participated in the 2012 London Olympics, says the country lacks a sustained Olympic-oriented training programme, which might hurt its chances.

“I think we should have started a training programme for the 2016 Olympics right after the London event. Instead, we focussed more on what was coming next in terms of the competition,” Jayanta said.

In order to make training more effective, Talukdar said the archery federation should start thinking about bringing the now-scattered elite archers together in one camp and starting a person-specific coaching program.

Beijing Olympian Pranitha Vardhineni agrees: “I don’t have a regular coach any more. I train with Bombayla and Jayanta in Kolkata.” Pranitha is part of the India Olympic Quest, and is being guided by South Korean coach M K Park.

Bombayla, another Olympian, described international exposure as the key to better performance. “It will help us get acclimatised to the different weather conditions,” she said.

Stay up to date on all the latest Sport news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp