The plush Yamuna Sports Complex was up and kicking before most of the Capital’s denizens probably even got out of their beds.
Sunday morning, made lazier by closed markets because of the evening’s opening ceremony, was, ironically, the busiest it’s ever been at the Complex, as an army of volunteers and Organising Committee staff put the final touches to the archery competition that begins Monday morning.
In sharp contrast was the Indian archery team. Archers never seem to be in a hurry and that is their forte. For Dola Banerjee and Jayanta Talukdar, who will lead India’s attempt to bring in a rich haul, the lethargic gait came naturally, their confidence showing.
The OC has included archery in these Games to help boost India’s chances of a bigger overall medal haul. And the squad of 12, including recurve and compound, is determined not to let the country down.
The Indian men’s team has had a superb last two years and with the champion Koreans not here, anything less than gold would be disappointing. “We are confident. Everyone is shooting well and we will win gold,” Talukdar told HT.
Dola, probably because of her experience, gave a better perspective to India’s chances. “England, Australia, Malaysia and Canada are all good teams. We have to shoot well. Moreover, the weather here won’t give us much of an advantage. The mornings are quite pleasant and even though the sun beats down towards noon, it is dry and not as uncomfortable as Kolkata, where we had our camp. We are better off here but the foreigners too are not uncomfortable,” said Dola.
The ranking rounds for the individual competition and team events are scheduled on Monday.
So although it won’t be of much significance, a lot of calculations will go on with every team keeping track of the others so they can avoid strong opponents in the early elimination rounds.