Excited at making a comeback to the Indian team for the upcoming Asian Grand Prix, archer Rahul Banerjee believes the tournament will provide him and his colleagues an opportunity to hone their skills ahead of the Olympic qualifiers in April.
“It is the first international tournament of the year, so all the Asian giants are expected to be a part of it. China and Malaysia will be there, I am not sure about Korea. It is going to be a tough contest and will provide us with an opportunity to test our skills against some of the best in the field,” Rahul said.
“It will also give players the necessary exposure ahead of the all important qualifiers.”
The recurve archer from Bengal, who was left out of the Indian team for the World Cup Archery Championship Stage III and IV last year due to poor form, said he was confident of his good showing in the weeklong event to be held in Bangkok from February 14.
“I am in good form right now. The selection for the tournament was tough and I am happy to have emerged on top. I have been working hard with coach Lim Chae Woong for the past few months and it was nice to reap the rewards,” Rahul said.
Rahul said their primary focus would be to win a team medal in the event.
“Me, Jayanta (Talukdar) and Mangal (Singh Champia) are combining after some time. Our main aim will be to win a medal in the team event which will be a big boost for our confidence ahead of the qualifiers and that is very important,” he said.
Asked whether he would miss the presence of Tarundeep Rai, he replied in affirmative, but insisted that the later will make a comeback to the team soon.
“It has been a long time now since we have been playing together. Tarun is not in a great form right now, but I am sure he will be back soon,” Rahul said.
The Indian contingent, which also includes teen sensation Deepika Kumari and Thupuvoyi Swuro, is scheduled to leave for Bangkok on Feb. 13.