These are the best of times for Indian archery. Of late, there have been a flurry of good performers who have stamped their mark at the tnternational level.
Dola Banerjee, Jayanta Talukdar, Tarundeep Rai, Rahul Banerjee and Deepika Kumari to name a few have made their bit to make the sport quite popular. So, when the Commonwealth Games archery begins at the Yamuna Sports Complex here on Monday, the Indians would be expected to bag a handful of medals.
Talukdar will be fancing his chances in the men's individual recurve section. The 24-year-old, ranked fifth in the world, won a bronze medal in the World Cup finals in Edinburgh last month.
Rahul Banerjee, part of the team which won the World Cup Stage IV in Shanghai is in good form. His sister, the seasoned Dola, two-time Olympian and 2007 World Cup gold medallist, is tipped to bag a gold medal in the women's recurve section. Deepika, who at World No. 5 is the highest-ranked archer in the recurve event, is a realistic medal hope.
Fine talent on show
There are some fine archers from all over the world and it certainly won't be easy for India. In the men's individual recurve competition, three-time Olympian Matthew Gray of Australia will be the man to beat. Simon Terry of England would be more than happy to steal the limelight from Gray.
England's Nicky Hunt, the world No.1 in the women's compound section, will have to face stiff competition from Ashley Wallace (Canada) and Jorina Coetzee (South Africa).
Australia's Deonne Bridger, making a comeback from retirement, cannot be taken lightly for she is in fine form after having taken part in all three World Cups this year. Bridger will be aware of the calibre of five-time Olympian Alison Williamson of England. Both will compete in the recurve section.
Limba backs recurve participants
After the training session here on Sunday, India's chief coach Limba Ram said, “we are expecting medals in recurve sections while it will be slightly difficult to expect anything from compound categories,” adding that New Zealand would do really well in the women's compound sections.
A total of 140 athletes from 24 countries will compete in both the individual and team events over seven days of competition. The Games also marks the first time the compound event has been included in a Commonwealth Games.
From October 4 to 6, there will be ranking (or qualification) and preliminary elimination rounds for team and individual competitions. From October 7, the team semifinals and finals, individuals quarterfinas, semifinals and finals would be held.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games 2010