Archery: Prize money ranking series set to return after five years

Photograph for illustration purpose
Photograph for illustration purpose

India's top archers are set to gain financially with the return of the prize money ranking series after a gap of five years. The first of the four-leg series is scheduled to begin on December 13 in Hyderabad. The week-long competition, under the aegis of the Archery Association of India (AAI), will conclude on December 20, AAI secretary general Pramod Chandurkar said.

“We hope the prize money ranking series will provide a fillip to the Olympic discipline in India. It will be conducted in all age groups, including seniors,” Chandurkar added.

According to Chandurkar, the total prize money for each of the four ranking series will be between ₹15 and ₹ 20 lakh.

“The top 16 in each category, including sub-juniors, will be awarded cash prizes. The cash incentives will be good for the development of archery in India,” Chandurkar stated.

The four ranking tournaments will be conducted between December and March, with the second in Jharkhand, the third in Maharashtra and the fourth and final leg in Kerala. The series will culminate with a grand finale in Delhi.

"The cream of Indian archery will be seen in action in the finals. The prize money for the finals in Delhi is expected to double,” Chandurkar said.

Prize money ranking tournaments were originally initiated in 2012 to provide a boost to the sport, but were discontinued due to lack of sponsorship. The last prize money event was held in 2015-16, said a national coach, who preferred anynomity.

According to the coach, as the archery federation violated the 2011 National Sports Code regarding age and tenure, the Sports Ministry suspended the federation in 2012-2013.

“Derecognition was a huge setback to grassroots development," the national coach added.

However, fresh AAI elections in 2020 paved the way for a new era, with Chandurkar elected secretary-general and Arjun Munda as president. The Sports Ministry also granted annual recognition to AAI last year.

“The AAI is a stable body now. Sponsors are back," Chandurkar concluded.

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