Indian archers emerge a force to reckon with in 2010

Indian archers emerge a force to reckon with in 2010 Kolkata: In a year that witnessed two sporting spectacles in Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, Indian archers had some hits as well as misses as they became a force to reckon with, ahead of the London Olympics in two years time.

The emergence of 16-year-old Deepika Kumari, seen as the future of Indian archery, and the stunning comeback by 2004 Olympian Tarundeep Rai after being in the sidelines for about two years were some high points of 2010.

Daughter of an autorickshaw driver in Ranchi, the 'baby' Deepika was the best performer in the Commonwealth Games when she clinched the gold in individual section and helped the team win another yellow metal.

Asian Games was though a heart-breaking experience for Deepika who faltered to finish fourth in individual section, but the Army archer Tarundeep scripted history by bagging the first ever silver in individual recurve as India also won a bronze medal each in men's and women's team events.

2010 will also be remembered for the flop show by the fancied men's recurve team in both Commonwealth Games and Asian Games after their gold medal performances in World Cup Stage II and IV.

Targetting a rich haul of medals in the Commonwealth Games, Archery Association India in association with Sports Authority of India had provided comprehensive training about two years in advance and appointed Limba Ram as the national coach.

The result was though just eight medals -- three gold, one silver and four bronze -- of the 24 up for grabs with the World Cup champions men's team returning duds with a bronze finish, as Limba, whose contract expired after the Asian Games, termed Commonwealth Games campaign a disappointment.

There were no South Koreans in the Commonwealth Games, but Indians had to fight it out against the world champions in the Asian Games and they proved a point or two.

Capping his comeback in style, Tarundeep inflicted one of the rare defeats on a South Korean when the Sikkim archer stunned second-seeded Oh Jin Hyek en route to the semifinals in the Asian Games.

Tarundeep proved his worth again beating Sung Chai Chun of Chinese Taipei in the semifinals before going down to world record holder Kim Woo Jin in the final to return with a first ever silver from the Asiad.

Bureau Report