CHENNAI: The India men’s compound team clinched gold at the Archery World Cup Stage I in Shanghai recently. Led by World No 5 Abhishek Verma, the team comprising of Chinna Raju Srither and Amanjeet Singh pipped Colombia in the summit clash. The feat was achieved despite the trio getting limited time to practice as a team. After their selection to the team was confirmed on April 27, the team underwent a 10-day camp at SAI Sonepat before embarking for Shanghai. Incidentally, that was the first time the three trained together.
“We had a good camp but we never expected a medal. We just went there hoping to do well. I was the only experienced member of the team. It was a great feeling to clinch a first World Cup team gold in compound archery,” Verma told Express. According to sources close to the team, the compound archers have not had the chance to take part in many camps aside from the selection trials. Also, since compound archery has never been a part of the Olympics, recurve is given more importance. Archery Association of India treasurer Virendra Sachdeva said camps are there for all archers, however, only junior and sub-junior archers attend them.
“We held a six-month long camp at the Yamuna Sports Complex. But very few archers attended. Before the World Cup, we held separate camps for recurve and compound archers. Yes, it was of a shorter duration. And as far as priority is concerned, we don’t differentiate. In fact, compound archers have been more successful in the recent past,” he said. Verma hopes that camps are held regularly. “More camps means more chances to practice at a higher level.
We need more exposure tours. These camps and foreign trips should ideally not be limited to prior to just before an international event.” Outdated equipment is something that has been ailing compound archers for some time now. And Verma feels private sponsorship would go a long way in helping them compete better. “We have to update our equipment. We have been doing that but it is not possible for everybody. Some private aid would be very beneficial,” said the 2014 Asian Games silver medallist. The next assignment for the compound archers is World Cup Stage II in June, followed by the World Games (compound only) in July as well as the Asian Championship in November. It’s bound to be a crucial year.