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Asian GP to test archers for Olympic qualifiers: Archery coach

February 14, 2012 15:40 IST

National archery coach Limba Ram feels that the Asian Grand Prix beginning Tuesday in Bangkok will provide an ideal platform to test the Indian archers ahead of the all important Olympic qualifiers.

"There will be plenty on offer in Bangkok, but our main aim is for the men's team to get back to winning ways. They are doing well in practice, but it's different when they compete at international level," Limba said before his departure to Bangkok.

"The Asian GP will provide an ideal platform to test them ahead of the World Cup," he said.

India's women's team of Deepika Kumari, Laishram Bombayla Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro have already booked their berth for the upcoming London Olympics, but the real worry for the coach remains the men's category, where only Jayanta Talukdar has made the cut so far.

The women's team got their ticket to the Olympic in the World Championship last year when they managed to beat Korea in the finals.

"They (women's team) were consistent last year. If they replicate their last year's performance, then I'm sure an Olympic medal in archery will be a reality. I just hope they start positively in the Asian GP," Limba said.

The real challenge, however, will be a victory for the struggling men's team with the Archery Association of India bringing back Mangal Singh Champia and Rahul Banerjee for the season opener.

The Padma Shree awardee said the team would be put to the test during the April 10-15 archery World Cup in Shangai, which will also be a qualifier for the marquee event

"The World Cup in Shanghai will be the first tournament this year where they will compete against the best archers from Korea, Italy and China. A good performance in the World Cup will keep them on course for our first Olympic medal," he said.

The men's team, though, will have one last chance to book a berth for the London Games when they compete for quota places in the third World Cup to be held in Ogden from July 18-24, one month prior to the Olympics.

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