2016 Rio Olympics: Indian men's archery team faces last chance to make cut
They will have to finish among the top three in the Olympic Qualifiers on June 16.
Antalya: The Indian men's archery team will have one last chance to book a Rio Olympics berth when the qualification round is held on the sidelines of the World Cup Stage 3 that begins here on Sunday.
The men's team comprises of the trio of Jayanta Talukdar, Mangal Singh Champia and Atanu Das along with Rahul Banerjee. They will have to finish among the top three in the Olympic Qualifiers on June 16.
This is the same team, which had won the bronze medal in the World Cup Stage 1 in Shanghai last month. Atanu Das will seek to make his maiden Olympics by combining well with the the experienced duo of Talukdar and Champia.
As a build-up to the crucial Olympic qualification, the Archery Association of India had sent the trio to the beach city of Antalya for an exposure trip in April when they competed in the seventh Kahraman Bagatir tournament, an invitational meet.
This time, the team has landed here five days back and India coach Dharmendra Tiwary, who is also attached to the Tata Archery Academy, is confident that the men's team would seal the berth.
"Yesterday, they shot 2015 points, which is good enough for a third place finish," Tiwary told PTI on the sidelines of their practice session here, and reminded that the trio had scored 2011 en route a bronze in Shanghai last month.
With the range overlooking the beach, the wind may be a concern for India but Tiwary insisted it would be the same for all the teams.
"The wind is inconsistent but I'm sure it would then affect all the other teams. We are aware of the conditions here and hope the experience will come in handy," he said.
India will face a challenging field which will have London Olympic silver-medallist Takaharu Furukawa in the Japan team.
"Japan would be tough, so would be the teams from Ukraine and France but we have to focus on our strength."
Bengal archer Das may be the youngest member of the team but he's not bogged down.
"We have coordinated well in practice and set up our shooting order. Hopefully we will to able to live up to the challenge in tight match situations," said Das, who also bagged the mixed pair bronze in Shanghai last month.
Das also has two team silver medals (Wroclaw and Medellin, 2014) and two mixed pair bronze medals (Medellin 2013 and 2014) in the World Cups previously.
In the men's category, India have claimed only one individual Rio berth and if the trio fail to qualify then India will have solitary representation in Rio in the men's section and he will be picked from a separate trial.
The women's team has already sealed the Olympic quota with their silver medal win at the World Championship in Copenhagen in July last year.
The fancied trio of Deepika Kumari and Laishram Bombayla Devi Laxmirani Majhi will look to finetune themselves ahead of the Rio Olympics.