NEW DELHI: Indian archers preparing for a slew of international tournaments including the Doha Asian Games in December have been left with no foreign coach.
Korean Lim Chen Wong is credited with turning Indian archers into a medal-winning outfit, but after his contract with the Sports Authority of India (SAI) came to an end in April no move has been made to renew it.
"He helped us a lot with the finer nuances of the game. Without him or any other qualified coach it would be difficult to maintain the higher level of performance," said Tarundeep Rai here on Wednesday.
After sweeping the South Asian Games archery competition, the archers will be looking to get ready for tougher competitions till the Asian Games.
The National open selection trials is scheduled in Jamshedpur from September 8. "Indian team selection for the coming events depend on what we do in Jamshedpur, but unfortunately there will be no coach with us," rued Tarundeep, who was conferred with Arjuna Award on Tuesday.
The Archery Association of India (AAI) is, however, putting up a brave face. "We have asked the SAI to get us a foreign coach, but there is hardly any move on that front," said the AAI Secretary-General, Anil Kamineni.
"Though we do not have a coach of our own at the moment, the archers could make use of the foreign coaches attached with different academies," he said. The Army Sports Institute (ASI) in Pune has is own Korean coach as does the Mittal Academy that has opened in Bangalore.
Tarundeep, who led India to the team silver in the World championship last year, said his next aim was to win first Asian Games medal for India.
"As a team we are second only to the World champion Korea but it will take much more effort to win medals in the Asian Games," said Tarundeep. "In the individual competition anything can happen but what we are concentrating on is the team event," he added.
At a simple ceremony at the Nehru Stadium here, the AAI, felicitated Tarundeep and Dola Banerjee, who won the Arjuna Award archery's first in 14 years, after Limba Ram in 1992.