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Fresh faces take centrestage in China for World Cup challenge

After a subdued 2017, Indian recurve archers are set to start the new season in Shanghai, where the World Cup Stage 1 is set to commence from Wednesday.

Published: 25th April 2018 01:36 AM  |   Last Updated: 25th April 2018 04:30 AM   |  A+A-

Atanu Das (3rd from right) will be leading the young recurve team for the first two stages of the Archery World Cup. Qualification begins on Wednesday | INSTAGRAM

Express News Service

CHENNAI : After a subdued 2017, Indian recurve archers are set to start the new season in Shanghai, where the World Cup Stage 1 is set to commence from Wednesday. The team reached three days in advance in order to get acclimatised to conditions. With the Asian Games scheduled this year, India’s recurve archers need to pull up their socks, especially considering the solitary silver won by them in the Asian Championship in Dhaka last year. Selection trials for the first two stages (next one in Antalya in May) threw up quite a surprise as three new faces made it to the team.

World No 21 Atanu Das will spearhead the group and he will be accompanied by the Services duo of Sukhchain Singh and Jagdish Choudhary and BSF’s Ajay. The last three have only one previous international appearance behind them. “Obviously, it was not the greatest of years in terms of medals. But performances kept improving, as seen from the medal we won from the year-ending meet. New blood coming up is always a good sign and I’m sure this exposure will go a long way in preparing them for the rigours of international competition,” Atanu said.

This tournament will come on the back of Atanu’s visit to the Kim Hyung-Tak Archery Training Centre in Chungbuk province, where he went to rectify errors in his game. Incidentally, the 26-year-old will try and end his barren run in terms of securing an individual podium finish in a world outdoor event. For 17-year-old Jagdish, this will be a first senior meet.

He refuses to be daunted by his new surroundings. “I was really happy with the selection trials. It is a new group but we are confident. Atanu bhaiyya is very helpful with all of us. If on the day we can produce our best, there is chance of an upset or two.” The team had their last practice session on Tuesday. The women’s group is led by Deepika Kumari and consists of veteran Laishram Bombayla Devi, Ankita Bhakat and Assam youngster Promila Daimary.

The compound group started proceedings on Tuesday. Rajat Chauhan, Abhishek Verma, Chinna Raju Srither and Sangampreet Singh Bisla form the men’s team, while Divya Dhayal, Muskan Kirar, Madhumita Kumari and Jyothi Surekha Vennam are in the women’s squad. Abhishek was third at the end of qualifications on the first day in individual events. The men’s team were fourth. ayantan@newindianexpress.com



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