CHENNAI: The new regime at the helm of Archery Association of India (AAI) had planned to conduct a one-month coaching camp for the top 16 archers in compound and recurve categories (both men and women) from Tuesday. But that had to be postponed because it did not receive government support.
Annual Calendar for Training and Competitions (ACTC), which decides dates for training camps as well as the competition schedule, was submitted by the previous regime and had already been approved. That plan had provision for only eight archers from each category. The sixteen were selected after open selection trials at the SAI Centre in Rohtak.
The camp will now start from February 10 and will run for 20 days instead of 30. Compound archers will assemble at the SAI centre in Sonepat, while Army Sports Institute in Pune will host the recurve archers.
“We had tried to ensure the full quota made it to the camp. But since ACTC had already been approved, it was not possible. From next year, the plan is to ensure everyone makes it to the camp. Because of all these administrative issues, the dates also had to be postponed,” an AAI official said.
The delay in conducting the camp was conveyed to the selected athletes on Wednesday, a day after it was supposed to begin. With this being a qualifying year, India’s archers need to take part in international competitions. The first assignment for senior archers is World Cup Stage 1 in April. They were supposed to begin with Asia Cup World Ranking Tournament Stage 1 in Bangkok, but AAI has decided to send the junior team instead.
“Such confusion is not good for us. This is a crucial year and we need adequate practice. Also, we need to take part in as many competitions as possible before the World Championship in June,” a top archer said.