The newly appointed sports minister Kiren Rijiju Wednesday interacted with the Indian archers and assured that the government will provide adequate funds for their training ahead. The Indian archery team returned with three medals including a silver and two bronze from the recently concluded World Championship in Den Bosch, The Netherlands. The trio of Tarundeep Rai, Atanu Das and Pravin Jadhav won the silver medal in the men’s recurve team event and also secured a quota for the 2020 Olympics. In the women’s events, Jyothi Surekha Vennam produced a stellar show to help the compound team, also featuring Muskan Kirar and Raj Kaur, bag the bronze medal. The 22-year-old then went on to win another bronze in the individual category.
Lauding the archers performance at the tournament, Rijiju said the government is keen on providing funding to enhance the performance of the archers. “We want to provide all the support to the archers, all those who have performed well for India and also those who have the potential. We will give them funding for coaches, training facilities, technical support and whatever other things the may require. “The government already provides them with all these and the athletes are satisfied but whatever more they require to enhance their performance the government will do,” said Rijiju.
The women’s recurve team, although ranked higher than their male counterparts, missed out on securing a quota in the World Championship. They have one more event to seal an Olympic berth. “The women’s team are very confident I’m sure they will also qualify. India has always been strong. Sometimes even if you are performing well you don’t win a medal because luck doesn’t favour you. But after seeing their performance I feel they will get a medal in Tokyo,” Rijiju said.
The Archery Association of India (AAI) organised a 11-day camp, the budget for which was approved by the sports ministry, for the recurve archers at Breda, just 38 kilometres from the venue to acclimatise to the weather conditions.
“We reached Netherlands 10 days before the tournament started to acclimatise to the place. That helped us a lot. We were able to do every thing better. In India we train at above 40 degrees temperature while in the Netherlands it was 15-17 degrees,” Tarundeep Rai, one of the three members of the silver medal winning men’s recurve team, said.