NEW DELHI: After a lot of controversy in the past week, recurve trials to select men’s and women’s teams for the upcoming Asian Championships in Bangkok ended on Friday at Army Sports Institute in Pune. Both teams have a balanced look.
The top four after the trial booked their spot for the continental event which also serves as an Olympic qualifier. The men’s team now has Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai, Atul Verma and Jayanta Talukder. The women’s team comprises of Ankita Bhakat, Bombayla Devi, Promila Daimary and Deepika Kumari. That the top four will go to Bangkok for the meet - from November 21 to 29 - was confirmed by a member of the Archery Association of India’s transitory committee.
The absentees from the earlier trial - which had taken place in August at the Sports Authority of India centre in Sonepat - are B Dhiraj (men), and Sangeeta and Simranjeet Kaur (women). A former international archer commented on how much better the current team looks. “The women’s team was very weak earlier. Considering the Asian Championships will be more crucial for them as they are yet to get a quota place for the Olympics, this team has more experience, which was lacking badly. Now it is up to them.”
Talukder, who is making his national comeback after almost two years, was quite happy with his shooting. “I have been trying to regain my form for some time now. Injuries have really hampered me in the recent past. I’m glad everything went well. Now the aim is to keep at it and ensure that I make the Olympic team when the time comes.”
The talking point before the trials revolved around the letters sent by Atanu, Deepika and Tarundeep to the sports minister, regarding why they have to give another trial after the first was deemed to be the final one. While the trials went on without a hitch, a few archers opined that such episodes will be detrimental for the growth of the sport.
“The question is not about retrials,” said one. “We should be intimated properly about dates and venues so that confusion can be avoided. Everything has to be given in writing. In most countries, trial dates are announced at least two weeks in advance. We are given three, four days. This is not the way it should function.”
Attention will now shift to Rohtak, where the compound team will be selected after trials on October 13 and 14.