Blind target: Delhi archers train without equipment

As hosts of the 29th sub-junior national championships,finishing with only three bronze medals would normally be termed as a bad result.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: January 10, 2009 1:18 am

As hosts of the 29th sub-junior national championships,finishing with only three bronze medals would normally be termed as a bad result. The Delhi archery won a team bronze in recurve and Indian style categories,to go with an individual gold in recurve in the just-concluded tournament.

But the Delhi coaching staff seem satisfied with the results and say that their charges have done as per expectations. “We did well to get those medals. We would have been happier had we won a gold medal,but these results matched our expectations,” Ashim Kumar Kundu,the senior coach of the Delhi team said.

Even the boys seem happy with these results,albeit with a rider. “We won these medals without proper equipment,” they said in unison. Probe further and the picture becomes clearer. The 15 odd boys who train at the Chhatrasal Stadium have been practising without the recurve and compound bows and arrows for over three years now.

“We don’t have the required equipment for compound and recurve competitions. They (coaches) have been saying that the demand has been put forward to the authorities and we will get them soon,” one of the trainees said. “We are still stuck with the Indian style category,which is a not a recognised event,” he added.

Interestingly,the Delhi boys’ team,comprising of Laxman Prasad,Arjun and Manik Khera,who won a team bronze medal in recurve,used borrowed bows and arrows for the event. “They borrowed bow and arrows from Hansraj College for training,” said one.

Coaches sing different tune
But the Delhi coaching staff rubbished all such claims,saying that “some of the boys” were crying foul because they were not good enough. “I have been here only for the past three months so I cannot comment on what was happening earlier. We have received training equipment worth Rs 3 lakh since I came here,” Deepak Kumar,who trains at the Chhatrasal Stadium,said.

Meanwhile,additional director (sports) in the Delhi government Satpal assured that all help would be provided to the archers. “We have already compiled a list of required equipment in consultation with the coaches. Besides,with the Commonwealth Games coming here,there is no dearth of funds. We will do all to make them champions,” Satpal told Sportline.

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