Are we serious about Tokyo Olympics 2020?
The road to Tokyo Olympics next year may not be a bed of roses for Indian archers, as their preparation for the qualifying event under the national flag stands jeopardised after a ruckus within the suspended Archery Association of India.
All is not good within the Indian archery ecosystem. The road to Tokyo Olympics next year may not be a bed of roses for Indian archers, as their preparation for the qualifying event under the national flag stands jeopardised after a ruckus within the suspended Archery Association of India (AAI) led to their non-participation at the Asia Cup World ranking tournament to be held in New Clark City, Philippines.
The selection trials for Stage 3 of the tournament were already conducted by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on August 7 and 8. While the Asia Cup posed as a significant platform for the archers to make it to the bigger stage later, the constant mayhem in the Association made it impossible for the archers to participate in tournaments. It could have paved the way for the upcoming Asian Championship as well, which is scheduled for the month of November this year.
While none has been notified of trials lately, the archers are now left high and dry as the final entries are required to be submitted by the end of this month, as early as September 25. The poor state of affairs within the four corners of the Association has been a subject of hot-debate over a few weeks now. In a fresh ray of hope for the beleaguered Indian archers, the World archery, after de-recognising AAI, allowed it to select the Indian squad till the World Youth Championship, which was held from August 19 to 25. Following which, the Delhi High court issued an order directing the Sports Ministry to immediately form a five-member transitory committee so that the scanty state of affairs of the suspended AAI were looked after till a fresh set of elections is conducted.
The country’s once prestigious archery federation, AAI was penalised by World Archery on charges of defying its regulations by electing as many as two parallel bodies, asking the federation to maintain law and order within the framework of its governance. The last event that archers participated under the Indian flag was the World Archery Youth Championship in Madrid, a month before. It was then believed that the Indian archers’ participation in international events, including the Asia Cup would receive a staggering blow unless a proper resolution was made.