Tendulkar inspires archer Banerjee at Lord's
The famed Lord's ground in London was the venue of some of Indian cricket's greatest triumphs. Now, Rahul Banerjee is hoping to carry forward the legacy in an altogether different sport.
He is looking to draw inspiration from his cricketing hero Sachin Tendulkar to script history at the Mecca of Cricket with a medal in archery at the Olympics.
"We are really happy to be playing at the centre of Lord's. Sachin Tendulkar is my cricketing hero and inspiration," he said on Wednesday.
Banerjee believes that since the discipline will be played at Lord's, it will generate huge interest among sports fans back home in India.
"People will be watching because it is at Lord's. I have watched many Test matches that have been played here."
Image: Archer Rahul Banerjee
Photographs: Graham Crouch / Getty Images
'If we win a medal here it will be historic for us'
Banerjee got his first taste of the conditions at Lord's in a practice session and immediately gave the thumbs up to the facilities.
"It is really good to get experience on the main field. It went really well. This ground is historic, and if we win a medal here it will be even more historic for us," he said.
The 25-year-old archer is looking to continue his good run on the big stage. He won a gold medal in the men's individual recurve event and a bronze in the team event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. He then bagged another bronze medal at the Asian Games in Guangzhou the same year.
Image: Rahul Banerjee
Photographs: George Frey / Getty Images
'Everything depends on the ranking round'
He will be taking part in the individual event along with compatriot Jayanta Talukdar, and the duo will be joined by Tarundeep Rai in the three-man team event. He believes that if they continue their good recent run, they have a chance of winning a medal.
"Everything depends on the ranking round. The team has been doing well and if we continue to do that we have a chance," he said.
The archer will kick-off India's campaign at the Games in the ranking round for men and women that begins on July 27.
Image: Rahul Banerjee, Tarundeep Rai and Javanta Taludkar
Photographs: Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images