Last chance for archers to qualify for Olympics
New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) India's three-man archery recurve team is leaving for Ogden in the US in the wee hours of Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to qualify for the London Olympics.
Before leaving Kolkata en route to the US, Jayanta Talukdar told IANS he and his teammates Tarundeep Rai and Rahul Banerjee are confident that this time they would qualify for the London Games as they had a good 20-day training camp in Sikkim.
The team will simultaneously compete in the Olympic qualifier and World Cup Stage Three from June 18-24. The qualifier is from June 21-22.
Talukdar, the highest-ranked Indian at 17, is the lone member to have made the cut for the Olympics in the individual category. But India's medal chances will brighten if the team can qualify. Once the team qualifies all three members will automatically compete in the individual event.
Talukdar realises the importance of doing well in Ogden.
"We have a good chance of qualifying as most of other teams have already booked their berths. The Sikkim camp has helped us tremendously. In Kolkata it was hot and humid and we could hardly train, whereas the weather was pleasant in Gangtok and it allowed us to practice eight hours a day. So, we are fit and confident," Talukdar said.
Three Olympic spots are still to be filled in the 12-team competition to be held at the iconic Lord's Cricket Ground in London.
World No. 5 India's main rivals at the qualifier will all be lower-ranked The Netherlands, Germany and Chinese Taipei, Japan and Australia.
United States, South Korea, Italy, Mexico, Great Britain, Ukraine, Malaysia, France and China are already through to the Games.
The women's team led by teenager Deepika Kumari has already qualified for the July 27-August 12 event.
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