The cream of Indian archery, including compound archers, will be seen in action at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Campus in Sonepat, Haryana, for the Asian Games selection trials, starting March 7. Pramod Chandurkar, secretary general of the Archery Association of India (AAI), confirmed the news on Saturday.
The Hangzhou Asian Games is scheduled for September, but the archery federation will be conducting selection trials from Monday to prepare the top archers for the continental competition.
"The AAI will conduct final Asian Games selection trials later," Chandurkar told Sportskeeda.
According to Chandurkar, the next few days will be quite hectic for India’s elite archers. Following the Asian Games trials, selected archers will compete at the Asia Cup, starting March 12 in Thailand. The Senior National Archery Championships is scheduled to be held right after that, in Jammu, from March 22.
“Since Asian Games trials are scheduled from Monday, elite archers will make an effort to give their best,” a national archery coach said. “Due to the pandemic, several events couldn’t be organized earlier in January. The respective state units are also conducting a competition to shortlist archers for the upcoming national competition in Jammu.”
For the Asia Cup in Thailand, the AAI was unable to hold national selection trials due to the pandemic, Chandurkar revealed.
The Tokyo Olympian archers, including Deepika Kumari, however, couldn’t find form and weren’t able to secure a berth in the Asia Cup squad.
“The national squad for Thailand has been selected based on their performance at the National Ranking Archery Tournament held earlier in January in Hyderabad,” Chandurkar added.
The top four ranked archers at Hyderabad’s National Ranking Archery Tournament will get a chance to compete in Thailand. Earlier this month, selected archers were also given international exposure at the World Archery Center in Lausanne.
“The Lausanne exposure tour was sort of an advanced coaching camp for next week’s Asia Cup in Thailand,” Chandurkar said.