Olympic quotas will be at stake at the upcoming Asian Championships and Asian Para Championships to be held in Bangkok in November this year. However, the questions that still remain are how the Indian archers will go there and even if they go, will they play under the Indian flag or under the Olympic flag?
Back in July, the World Archery Federation had suspended the Archery Association of India (AAI) for not following its guidelines and had given them a time limit of three months to settle their internal dispute. But so far the situation remains unchanged.
Speaking to The Bridge, Indian archery coach and 2013 Dronacharya Award winner Purnima Mahato, who was also the coach of the Indian team during the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, asserted that the attitude of the AAI is going to ruin the future of the sport in India.
“The association does nothing for the players, this has been going on for five-six years. The archers do not have any good competitions to take part in and as a result, their individual improvement is not quite up to the mark,” she said before adding:
The association is destroying archery. On one hand, the performance of Indian archers in global tournaments is quite commendable, but it is the AAI which is ruining everything. If it is not resolved at the earliest, then the future of archery in India is over.
Purnima, who won the silver medal for India at the 1998 Commonwealth Games during her playing career, did not stop there. She further said that the attitude of the Sports Authority of (SAI) India regarding the situation is lacklustre and poor.
“See from the coach’s perspective, what is the difference, we are just going to train the archers. But we can’t help if we do not know what the situation is. There is no planning nor thinking. And as soon as the Olympics come, the AAI and SAI will start crying that they want medals, how will they get medals?” she signed off.