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Top archers off to Korea, camp charade on

Even as the Indian camp potters on, former coach Lim takes his trainees away for serious practice, writes Khurram Habib.

india Updated: Jul 12, 2006 13:06 IST

Lim Chae Woong, the former Indian archery coach, is finally having his wish fulfilled — that of taking the Indian archers on a tour to Korea.

Lim, who is now coaching at the Tata Archery Academy, will be taking Tata boys, Jayanta Talukdar and Rahul Banerjee, to Korea.

It might be recalled that one of the reasons given by Lim for his resignation from the Indian team was the inability of the Archery Association of India (AAI) to send the Indian team out for training in Korea, which has produced a host of world champions.

And even as the AAI camp goes on (July 3 to August 14) at the Nehru stadium here, most of the top names, Tarundeep Rai, Talukdar and Banerjee, are missing. Basically, only those who are unable to get proper coaching are coming to the national camp.

When asked why, the AAI tried some face-saving excuses and said through an official, “We have given everyone the freedom to train the way he or she likes. We just want them to attend the camp just a few days before the team leaves for an international competition.

“As such, neither the trainees from the Army Institute, Pune, nor the Tata Academy, Jamshedpur are attending this national camp.”

But wasn’t Lim right in asking for a tour to Korea? And isn’t the fact that top archers like Banerjee and Talukdar continue to repose their faith in Lim and get opportunities that the AAI failed to give them, a sign of the state of things within the national body?

“Considering our financial constraints, we wouldn’t have been able to send them to Korea. If Tata is sending them and Lim is taking them to his club, well and good. We also think that it is a great opportunity for them to improve,” said an official.

This, in fact, is a u-turn. When Lim had resigned, AAI vice-president, Paresh Nath Mukherjee, had made it an issue of nationalism and said, “why are you giving importance to a foreign coach when he’s saying things against the AAI?

“We are looking for an Indian coach who doesn’t demand much. An Indian coach and AAI can give the archers the best possible training. A trip to Korea won’t make much difference.”

Well, in the intervening period, it is Lim who’s had the last laugh.

Firstly, it was only a Lim trainee, Talukdar, who showed any class at all at the World Cup events — he’s now No. 2 in the international rankings. And what does the AAI have to show? Well…