n their bid to attain the much-coveted berth at the upcoming Rio Olympics, the Indian men’s recurve team had pulled out all the stops. The trio of Jayanta Talukdar, Atanu Das, Mangal Singh Champia along with Rahul Banerjee had reached the Turkish city of Antalya five days earlier where they will be testing themselves at the World Cup Stage 3, keeping their eyes fixed on a top-3 finish at the simultaneously held final Olympic qualification tournament.
Their efforts definitely paid off. In a practice round held on Sunday, the Indians fared well. Their score of 2015 pleased even the India coach Dharmendra Tiwary, who is pretty confident his boys would not disappoint.
Atanu Das fourth in individual qualification
On Monday, they repaid Tiwary’s faith in them. Atanu Das, who is aiming to make his debut at the mega quadrennial Games, was in impeccable form. With 681 points after 72 arrows, he shot up to the fourth position in the qualifying rounds.
Jayanta Talukdar was the next best as he amassed 671 for a 17th spot. With 656, Rahul Banerjee stood 58th while Champia could only manage 651 for a lowly 80th place.
The total score of 2008 awarded India the fourth position in the Recurve Men’s Team qualification rounds of the World Cup Stage 3. And it also enabled them to grab the first spot in the Rio Qualification tournament where 16 teams will be vying for the top 3 places on June 16.
India vs Turkey in Rio qualifier
India will be facing the 16th seeded Turkey in the pre-quarter-finals of this Olympic qualifier whereas, in the World Cup event, their first opponents are the 13th seeded Brazil.
The Indian men’s recurve archers had earlier claimed one individual Rio spot and if they can clinch a team berth this Thursday, two more individual spots will be added to India’s kitty.
Being a beach city, the wind can wreak havoc at Antalya. But the acclimatization definitely prepared the Indian team for the tough situation. Besides, this is not their first stint at Antalya this season. The Archery Association of India (AAI) had sent the archers on an exposure trip to the Kahraman Bagatir invitational meet held at the same venue two months back.
That too certainly played a crucial role in bringing out such a confident performance from the Indians. Let us hope the men’s team is successful in achieving their goal.Published 13 Jun 2016, 22:47 IST