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Ill-equipped archers for the Games?

other Updated: Aug 28, 2009 22:42 IST
Khurram Habib

Discontent seems to be brewing in the national archery camp for the Commonwealth Games. Six months after it started and just a year before the Games happen, lack of equipment is still a major cause of worry if some archers are to be believed.

Speaking to Hindustan Times, a top archer said: "We are suffering from a shortage of equipment. It has not arrived yet."

There are 32 archers each in recurve and compound, the two divisions of archery at the Commonwealth Games, and many are making do with personal or borrowed equipment.

"We are not getting equipment for even international events, leave alone the camp," said the archer. "Some of us, who are in the top bracket can afford to practice with equipment provided by our sponsors but those who have no tie-ups struggle to find equipment," he said.

As per the plans, 16 archers will be eliminated after December, leaving an equal number for the next stage.

"We just got a few arrows and that is it. It is disheartening," said another top archer. "This camp is for such a long period and includes elimination, everyone should be given an equal opportunity and for that you need equipment."

When contacted, Archery Association of India (AAI) vice-president, Paresh Nath Mukherjee said: "We are giving them all the facilities we are expected to provide, like food and lodging. We are giving them arrows too. Most of these archers are tied to good organisations like the Tatas and Mittal Trust, so they get the equipment, namely bows, from them. I don't think this is a major cause of worry."

National coach Limba Ram too played down the issue. "We did get some 11 dozen arrows but we are waiting for the equipment. It is not a huge matter, it is just that some of the equipment that has been ordered is stuck in the government's import procedures," he said.