The four-day trials to identify the Indian squad for the 17th Asian archery championship began at the SAI, Eastern Centre, here on Saturday with a first-ever prize fund of Rs. 4 lakh.

As many as 60 archers — 16 each in men's and women's compound section, 15 in men's recurve and 13 in women's recurve are in the fray for the 16 places up for grabs.

The compound section will select a full set of four archers each, the men's recurve will provide three archers to join Jayanta Talukdar and one archer will join the three Olympic quota earners, L. Bombayla Devi, Deepika Kumari and Chekrovolu Swuro in the women's recurve segment.

“With the Indian archers doing exceptionally well in international competitions of late, we decided to introduce Rs. 4 lakh as prize money to make the trials very competitive,'' said Prof. V.K. Malhotra, the Archery Association of India (AAI) president.

Top eight archers each in men's and women's compound section, seven in the men's recurve and five in women's recurve will be eligible for prize money.

The Asian championship will be held at Teheran from October 18-24.

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