Demand in January, still awaiting delivery

India archers wanted new equipment early to get used to it ahead of the final qualifying event; association delays it till May to get discount. Navneet Singh reports. Eye on target

india Updated: Apr 19, 2012 01:16 IST
Navneet Singh
Navneet Singh
Hindustan Times

With less than 100 days to go for the London Olympic Games, the mood in the Indian archery camp is sombre. Archers training in Kolkata for the final Olympic Qualifiers at Ogden (US) in June, had placed their requirement for equipment in January, but nothing has happened so far.

The Sports Authority of India had sanctioned Rs 25 lakh for equipment in January, but the process of procurement is yet to start, thanks to the Archery Association of India (AAI), which plans to place the order in the first week of May.

Not yet ready
“Getting equipment at the right time is what matters. Even if we get it now, a majority of archers, aiming to clinch London tickets, wouldn't want to switch to new bows and arrows as that would take time to adjust.

"In fact, switching to new equipment would be suicidal now," said a top archer on the sidelines of a function to celebrate the 100-day countdown to the Olympics on Wednesday.

SAI regional director, Subodh Bhatnagar, told HT from Kolkata that he was not in a position to throw light on the issue.

SAI sources said the AAI plans to purchase the equipment during the World Cup Stage 2, beginning in Antalya (Turkey) from May 1.

Pareshnath Mukherjee, the AAI secretary, however, said there wasn’t any equipment shortage in the camp.

“There is no issue of equipment. We have earned four Olympic berths and hope to clinch more,” he said.

On the money
It is learnt that the AAI wants to procure the equipment from Turkey during the World Cup as manufacturers give huge discounts before major competitions. But Mukherjee didn’t comment on the issue.

“I have no idea about the funds sanctioned for the equipment.”

The SAI eastern centre has, on many occasions, been in the news for the wrong reasons. Last year, the archers had protested about lack of proper facilities, including food in the camp.

The SAI director-general had then initiated an inquiry and subsequently the regional director was transferred.

First Published: Apr 18, 2012 23:39 IST