National coach Limba Ram believes a slight technical flaw in Mangal Singh Champia’s action during the knockout stages of the Beijing Olympics led to his early exit.
Champia had an excellent qualifying round where he finished second overall with 678 points, one shy of the top-seeded Juan René Serrano but bowed out in the second knockout round to 31st-seed Bair Badenov of Russia 108-109. The Russian went on to win the bronze medal.
“A little bit of guidance could have rectified the fault,” Limba told HT one day after the Archery Association of India announced his name as the national coach till the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. “I thought the 12-arrow format would suit Indian archers better because they have a tendency to begin well and then fade out. But the Olympics were slightly disappointing,” he added.
“Now that I have been made the coach, it’s a huge responsibility. All I can say is that I won’t sleep well. For me archery is not about just participation, it’s about winning,” Limba, who has been given the charge of developing rural sports in his home state Rajasthan from last September, said. “We have a great men’s team and I am sure had they qualified for Beijing, they would have won India a medal. Just one bad show at the World Championships (Leipzig) meant they could not qualify. Jayant (Talukdar), Mangal, Rahul (Banerjee) and a few others are good archers and my focus would be to ensure they are all physically and mentally fit,” Limba, who is awaiting an official letter from the AAI to conduct the national camp at the SAI Eastern Centre from February 1, said.