Olympic-bound Indian archers, who are based at the Army Sports Institute here, will get their second dose of COVID-19 vaccine next week before leaving for the upcoming World Cup Stage I in Guatemala City.
The World Cup Stage I, to be held from April 19, will be the first tournament for the senior archers in COVID era. The archers will compete in three World Cups, with the third being a Olympic qualification before the Tokyo Games in July. As part of their vaccination drive, the ASI inoculated all the archers, which included the eight frontline Indians -- Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai, Pravin Jadhav and B Dhiraj (reserve) in men's and Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat, Komolika Bari and Madhu Vedwan (reserve) in women's.
"They have been administered the first dose of Covishield on March 8 while the second is due next week (on April 7)," an ASI official told PTI. Everyone in the 16-member senior Indian contingent , including the coaches and support staff, have been administered the first dose of vaccine, he said. "This is part of our vaccination drive at ASI. We don't want to compromise on safety. We have also inoculated the 29 Army archers -- 20 in recurve and nine in compound sections," he added.
So far, India have secured a team quota in the men's section, and an individual quota in women's section. The women's team will have one last chance to qualify in the third stage of the World Cup, in Paris from June 21-27. Meanwhile, both the senior and sub-junior nationals slated to be held in Chittaranjan and Raipur respectively have been postponed, Archery Association of India secretary Pramod Chandurkar said.
The Railways have been allotted the senior nationals but due to the state elections and rising COVID-19 cases, they would now have to look for an alternate venue. "A few places including Kolkata are in the pipeline. It's the Railways' call," Chandurkar said. "The sub-junior event was slated in April but with the spike in COVID-19 cases, we may have to wait and watch for two-three months," he said.