SPORT

Overnight leaders retain position

Special Correspondent

Heavy downpour in the morning disrupted the schedule of the second day's proceeding of the third National-ranking prize money archery tournament at the SAI, Eastern Centre.

The second FITA qualifying round over four distances could not be completed with 30m distance remaining to be held.

Adding to the woe of the competitors was the invasion of insects in large numbers during the shooting of the 50m event later in the evening and compelling the shifting of the 30m distance event to Thursday.

After completion of the three distance rounds 90m, 70 and 50m for men and 70m, 60 and 50m for women the overnight leaders held sway over the field with all three retaining their positions comfortably.

Drama of sorts

Meanwhile, a drama of sorts was enacted at New Delhi on Wednesday with Indian junior contingent, picked for the second junior Asian championship at Taiwan, all set to pull out owing to the Taiwan Trade and Cultural Office refusing to issue visas to two Sikkim-born Services archers, Bikash Gurung and Sonam Pintsho Lepcha.

The Archery Association of India (AAI) was asked to submit the two archers' birth and domicile certificate along with passport for the visa procedure.

Enraged by this development and the Taiwan office's refusal to accept Indian passport as a valid travel document, the association president, V.K. Malhotra, threatened to withdraw the team from the competition.

The Indian foreign ministry swung into action to address the issue. The AAI too contacted its counterpart in Taiwan and threatened to pull out. This forced a rethink on the issue and eventually visas were granted for the two Indians. The 20-member contingent will leave for Taiwan on Thursday.

The results: SecondFITA qualifying round:

Recurve: Men: 1. Rahul Banerjee (SPSB) 2319 points, 2. Jayanta Talukdar (SPSB) 2305, 3. Mangal Singh Champia (Rly) 2276. Women: Chekrovolu Swuro (Nag) 2300 points, 2. Dola Banerjee (Rly) 2290, 3. L. Bombayla Devi (Rly) 2260.

Compound: Men: 1. Naresh Damor (Rly) 2337 points, 2. Jayantilal Ninoma (Raj) 2331, 3. Ch. Lenin (AP) 2313. Women: Jhano Hansdah (Jhar) 2406 points, 2. Bheigyabati Chanu (Jhar) 2362, 3. Sumanlata Murmu (Jhar) 2312.

The Indian squad: Recurve: Boys: P. Raju, Prabhat Kandir and Amardeep Kerketta (all Tata AA). Girls: Reshma Banerjee, V. Pratima, Rosie Lalrem and Nisha Dutta.

Compound: Boys: Abhishek Verma (Dli), Sumit Mishra (Jhar), Bikash Gurung and Sonam Pintsho Lepcha (both Services). Girls: Sumanlata Murmu, Namita Yadav, Neva Kerketta (all TAA) and M. Rishitha (AP).

Manager: P. Chundurkar. Coach: Sanjeeva Singh, Ran Bahadur Tamang, Ashim Kundu and Lim Chae Woon (Korea).

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