NEW DELHI: After quite a few days of uncertainty, chances of India's Olympic-hopeful women archers getting the opportunity to take part in the Final Olympic Qualification Event from June 18 in Paris look bright. While visa applications have been submitted, slight alterations are in the offing.
Initially, the LOC of the Olympic qualifier and the subsequent World Cup Stage III which starts from June 21, had informed Archery Association of India (AAI) that teams were exempt from quarantine rules but due to India's worsening condition, short-term visas were denied. After intervention from the Ministry of External Affairs, Sports Ministry as well as the IOA, the French government has finally relented.
While visas are likely to be issued, all Indian archers will have to quarantine for a period of 10 days. Also, vaccination certificates will have to be provided, and those certificates have to be of Oxford-AstraZeneca, locally known as Covishield.
"So far, all recurve archers have been fully vaccinated while compound archers will get partially vaccinated prior to departure," a senior AAI official informed this daily. Negative RT-PCR reports are mandatory.
AAI also sent a list of clubs to the LOC, French Archery federation and World Archery regarding where the Indian team can be allowed to practice during their quarantine period. That process is in its final stages according to AAI.
After the travel fiasco in Stage I, this time around both recurve and compound archers will be leaving for France on separate days. The recurve teams will be leaving earlier followed by the compound squad.
A subsequent AAI core committee meeting is also scheduled to figure out the plan post the World Cup. While a few officials want the archers to come back to Delhi, a few want the archers to travel to Japan. With uncertainty regarding the previous arrangement with the Japanese city of Kurobe, it remains to be seen what course of action the federation takes.
The team of Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat, Komalika Bari and Madhu Vedwan (reserve) are in contention for the women's team slot while the men's team of Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai and Pravin Jadhav have already secured their Olympic spots.