India can win a medal in Olympic archery in 2012: Aussie coach
Australia's only Olympic champion archer Simon Fairweather feels that Indian recurve side would overcome their shortcomings at international-level and have the best chance to win a maiden medal at the London Games in 2012.india Updated: Oct 10, 2010 16:09 IST
Australia's only Olympic champion archer Simon Fairweather feels that Indian recurve side would overcome their shortcomings at international-level and have the best chance to win a maiden medal at the London Games in 2012.
Now the Australian head coach, Fairweather's team beat the top-seeded Indians in the semis before clinching the gold as the home side had to settle for a bronze yesterday.
In an interview to PTI, the finest Aussie bowman said Indian archers, under an able coach Limba Ram, were extremely tough and they would be the ones to watch out for in 2012.
"The Indian archers are coming up well especially in the last two years. Indian men's recurve team is very strong. It would not be very far for them to get an Olympic medal. I see this team shaping up well for the London Olympics," the Sydney Olympics gold medallist said.
"They are very good at technique, a bunch of dedicated guys around and a very good coach (Limba Ram) at the helm. He (Limba) is a very kind person. I know him for since his playing days," Fairweather said.
Having beaten the Indians in the semis before clinching the gold with a win over Malaysia, the 40-year-old coach said it was very satisfying.
"To see it come to fruition here in an event where we weren't favourites, it's pretty exciting to see."
Fairweather, who represented in five Olympics (1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004), said coaching was very different from being a bowman.
"It's a lot demanding and definitely not easy. You have to find the right combination, it's different and challenging," he said.
Referring to Australian Institute of Sports archery programme, Fairweather said he was working towards Rio 2016.
Asked whether he was hopeful of a medal in Olympics 2012, the Australian said: "A more realistic goal would be the Rio 2016. A lot of changes need to be made and we have to develop archers.
"Hopefully I remain attached till 2016, or else I would switch back to jewellery design," Fairweather, who also has a degree in jewellery design, joked. "At present we have a mix of old and new with 37-year-old Matthew Gray being the senior-most. We have a very promising archer in 24-year-old Matthew Masonwells."
Fairweather gave credit to his sister who doubled up as his agent, his parents, coach for his Sydney success that came only in his fourth Olympic appearance and nine years after he became the world champion.
"It was in a very friendly environment."