Kolkata: Even as Limba Ram’s contract as national archery coach has expired, the three-time Olympian is learnt to have got lucrative offers from foreign countries after his success with the Indian team.
A senior member of the archery team told reporters that the archery associations of Qatar and Sri Lanka were really impressed with Limba’s show as national coach at the recently concluded Asian Games in Guangzhou.
“After knowing that his contract expires after the Asian Games, countries like Qatar and Sri Lanka have approached Limba in Guangzhou with lucrative offers of about Rs 3 lakh per month,” a senior archer claimed.
According to the archer, “Limba was getting a monthly salary of Rs 55,000.”
However, Limba, who is back in Rajasthan could not be contacted.
The veteran archer appears to be in demand ahead of the London Olympics in 2012 as the AAI is also keen to send a proposal to the ministry for renewal of his contract from January 2011.
The AAI secretary general, Paresh Nath Mukherjee said they do not want a foreign coach for the Indian archers and Limba would be the ideal choice.
“He is an icon in India... He is a great motivator and our archers need a motivator, not a good coach like that of South Koreans,” Mukherjee told reporters.
Teenage India archer Deepika Kumari, who bagged a gold in the Commonwealth Games, had earlier said India needed a foreign coach besides regular overseas trips to have a realistic chance of winning medals at London 2012 Olympics.
But Mukherjee insisted of bringing an Indian coach.
“South Koreans feel that they are the best so it would be counter productive if we bring in a South Korean. We are in the process of preparing an LTDP (long term development programme) that would be sent to the ministry before the December 31 deadline and then a final decision on the renewal of Limba’s contract would be decided,” Mukherjee said.
The sports ministry, on December 3, had a meeting with all the 29 Olympic discipline federations and had asked for a list of coaches and support staff they want to retain.
Already two Indians are working as foreign coaches. While Lokesh Chand has been roped in by the Iraqi Archery Federation to look after their senior side, Nishit Das is coaching the Bangladeshi archery team.
Limba was appointed national coach in January last year and his tenure saw some history-creating finishes by the Indian archers.
During Limba’s stint, India won the men’s team recurve gold medal with a record score, while 17-year-old Deepika Kumari bagged an individual silver in recurve section in the World Cup Stage 4 in Shanghai this year.
The men’s team, however, settled for a disappointing bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi where India won a total of three gold, one silver and four bronze.
But in the recently-concluded Asian Games, Indian archer Tarundeep Rai created history by bagging the first ever individual silver. The Indians also won a bronze each in men’s and women’s team events.