Indian archery issues continue

A long-running issue over administration in Indian archery continues, as the sport continues to move deeper into the Olympic cycle.

Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari

World Archery officially recognised the newly-elected archery AAI (Archery Association of India) as a legitimate authority to select the teams for the upcoming international competitions. However, the IOA (Indian Olympic Association) still does not recognise the current AAI. World Archery rejected the IOA’s proposal to form a temporary ad-hoc body.

Secretary general Tom Dielen said the decision was made in “the best interest of the athletes”, with regards to the Olympic selection tournament at the upcoming World Championships. However the recognition is conditional on certain amendments to the constitution and processes of the AAI.

The decision is the latest in a long-running and complex issue over administration of the sport in the country. In a positive step, full and fair open selection tournaments for the upcoming outdoor season have been held, although the federation remains at risk of maintaining a full international standing.

India’s recurve team for the Archery World Championships was selected on 16th March after three days of trial at the KIIT University in Bhubaneswar.The men’s team is comp­osed of Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das and Pravin Jadhav wh­ile Deepika Kumari, L Bo­mbayla Devi and Komalika Bari make up the women’s team.

Archers Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari (above) announced their engagement earlier this year.

While most of the attention has been focused on the effects on the recurve team, in an increasingly Olympics-obsessed country, the compound team has suffered its share of issues too, with one of the coaches leaving the team suddenly last year. India’s compounds recently finished a successful training course with Italian international and current Vegas champion Sergio Pagni.

Earlier this year, Dielen said: “India is a promising archery region and it is imperative that we build a strong federation that will realise its potential going forward. As such, we will not rush this process but work towards a stable long-term outcome.”

“World Archery has the interests of Indian athletes as its priority throughout this period and will put paramount importance on ensuring that those athletes’ preparations for the Olympic Games in Tokyo are not interrupted as a result of administrative uncertainty.”

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