The Archery Association of India (AAI) has read the riot act to the players who have been staying away from national camps. Minutes after the first National Ranking Archery Tournament concluded on Sunday, AAI secretary general Anil Kamineni made it clear to the archers who made it to the national squad that from now on missing the camps will cost them dear.
Archers from Railways, Steel Plant Promotion Boards (SPSB) and others have been staying away from the camps. Deepika and others from the SPSB, have preferred to train at the TATA Archery Academy, while the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) archers have been stationed in Kolkata.
In what was embarrassing for the federation, only six archers showed up for the month-long camp at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium that concluded early this wee”Those missing the camps will have to submit valid papers to support their absence. Those who stay away their place will go to the next in the placings,” Kamineni said. “Also, those selected for the Indian teams will have to be part of the camp 15 days before the departure for the international tournament, if not their place will go to the fifth-placed archer,” he added.
Ever since the sports ministry de-recognised the federation for not following the sports code, the AAI has been struggling to discipline the archers. For various reasons, the archers have been staying away. This time though, the AAI had written to all the institutions – the RSPB, the SPSB, Sports Authority of India (SAI) – asking them to reign in the absentees. “We had been lenient in the past and also the fact that RSPB was not relieving its players for our tournament was making it harder for us to act tough. But now they will know that only genuine cases will be entertained,” said a source.
Meanwhile, Tarundeep Rai and Deepika Kumari won the gold medal in the recurve sections on Sunday. Rai beat Atanu Das 6-0, while Deepika saw off Dola Banerjee 6-4. In the compound, Abhishek Verma, who made a new national mark of 709/720 points in the qualifications, beat Rajat Chauhan for gold, while Parveena beat Gagandeep Kaur for gold in women’s category.