THE LACK of preparations by the National Kayaking and Canoeing Federation was exposed when the Indian team failed to register name even in the first five positions in Doha Asiad. The best example of lack of planning was Ankit Pachauri of Bhopal.
During the India training camp, he prepared for the C-2 category but was asked to compete in the C-1 category in the Asiad, which resulted in his failure. Ankit was out from the race in the first heat, as he stood fifth. He returned to the City on Monday.
This was perhaps the worst performance by talented Ankit, who won two gold medals in the recent National Kayaking and Canoeing Championship organised in Bhopal. On being asked, the City lad said that Indian kayaking and canoeing team fared poorly against teams like China. “In every department of the game they were better than us”, said Ankit.
However, he added that the conditions at the venue were also not favourable. “The wind was blowing at a high speed during the competition. I have never appeared in any event in such high-speed wind”, he said.
Ankit said that foreign coaches should spend more time with the team. “Such coaches come for short periods. Their coaching will give results when they spend more time with the team”, said Ankit. Even in such odd situations and lack of proper equipments, Ankit stood 15th in the Junior World Championship organised in 2005.
About the future preparations he said that the need is to provide carbon boats and foreign coaches. “There is no dearth of talent. The need is to give standard boats and good coaching”, said Ankit. He has started preparing for National Games to be held in Guwahati.
Lauding the State Sports and Youth Welfare Department for providing necessary help, he said the need is to provide proper support from the national federation.
His coach Mayank Thakur has requested for the carbon boats. “A carbon boat costs around Rs 80,000 that can be bought easily”, Mayank said. At present Bhopal has no canoeing carbon boat.