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Archers arrive to tumultuous welcome

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bull’s eye! Schoolchildren greet the victorious city archers on their arrival at Vijayawada railway station on Saturday.
bull’s eye! Schoolchildren greet the victorious city archers on their arrival at Vijayawada railway station on Saturday.

Staff Reporter

They walk away with nine medals in the Mexican Grand Prix

VIJAYAWADA: The city railway station was abuzz with action on Saturday with sports lovers, parents and administrators thronging the place in good number to welcome young archers Jyothi Surekha (Nalanda Vidya Niketan), Deepu (NSM Public School), Anand Shankar (Delhi Public School), who won nine medals, including a coveted gold, in the Mexican Grand Prix – 2009 held at Baja California in Mexico. The winners were accompanied by coach Ch. Lenin.

Grand Master Koneru Humpy too arrived in the evening after her title triumph at the Women World Grand Prix at Istanbul (Turkey), making the day a special one for sports buffs.

The three up-and-coming archers braved cold winter and breezy winds in the Latin American country to take part in under-13 and under-16 categories in compound segment in the weeklong tournament. Armed with flower petals, garlands and bouquets, several school children accorded a tumultuous welcome to the champions.

“The competitions were tough. We had the best of archers from the United States, Mexico, Guatemala, Dominican Republic and Cuba. Our archers showed exemplary courage in overcoming the hostile weather to garner more points,” said Krishna District Archery Association secretary Cherukuri Satyanarayana, who accompanied the team as manager.

Mr. Satyanarayana said that the relentless practice and dedication by the archers had finally paid off. “Our main goal is the 2010 Commonwealth Games at New Delhi. I am sure a good number of archers from Andhra Pradesh will find a berth in the Indian team,” he expressed confidence.

The young archers will be honing their skills further to take part in the European Grand Prix to be held in July and in the Youth Olympics to be held in the United States in the same month.

“Our main problem is lack of a proper ground to practise. Despite our plea to the district administration and the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, we have not been allotted an open space to practise . Indira Gandhi Municipal Stadium is not conducive for archery, as passers-by and fellow athletes might get hurt by the miss-hit arrows,” Mr. Satyanarayana said.

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