Not many sports in India have risen to a level where they can offer technical support overseas. Former India cricketers like Sandeep Patil, Roger Binny and Mohinder Amarnath have been national coaches of other countries while ex-hockey players Cedric D’Souza and Joaquim Carvalho have coached across Indian shores.
The Commonwealth Games has thrown up another name in that bracket. The national archery coach of Bangladesh, Nishit Das, is from the same club in Bengal that has produced international archers Rahul and Dola Banerjee. Das took charge of the team in September 2004 and the results are clear. The South Asian Federation Games at Dhaka in February saw 17-year-old Sheik Sojeb upset India’s top-ranked Jayanta Talukdar in the semifinals and then upstaged Tarundeep Rai by a point in the final.
“I had gone to Bangladesh twice before and knew what the archers needed. I incorporated discipline and regular practice in their roster and the results started to show,” said Das, who is the younger brother of former national coach, Soumen. Das, who does not have a formal coaching degree, begun his career at the Cherukuri Archery Academy in AP. Incidentally, compound archer C.H. Jignas, who is part of the squad here, is his find.