Archers insulted Limba during London Olympics: Source
Kolkata: India`s archery coach Limba Ram on Saturday made a quiet exit from the national team not just because of the country`s dismal Olympic performance but also after being allegedly insulted by his top wards Deepika Kumari and Jayanta Talukdar, who denied the accusation.
According to a team source, Limba was at loggerheads with Deepika and Jayanta who apparently stopped communicating with him.
While Deepika was not available for reaction, Talukdar dismissed the allegations, saying, "It`s all false. Everything was smooth in the camp."
Indian archers drew a blank at the Games, bowing out by the quarterfinal stage in both the team and individual events.
Deepika, a world number one going into the Games, was touted as a strong medal hope but flopped miserably at the Lord`s Cricket Ground where the competitions were held.
Limba, whose contract with the AAI expired after the Olympics, was not available for reaction as he left this morning to Jaipur to rejoin the Rajasthan Sports Council as sports officer.
The source claimed that Limba was disturbed with the attitude shown by his wards and the three-time Olympian was not keen to accompany the team to the London Games.
"Top archer Jayanta Talukdar had stopped talking to him since the World Cup Stage III in USA, while others too were not listening to his advices," the source told PTI.
"Talukdar had showed dissidence and fought with the coach, challenging him openly. He (Limba) went only on the insistence of AAI secretary general Paresh Nath Mukherjee," he said.
In fact, such was the bad blood in the camp, the AAI had to take an assistant coach, Subedar Ravi Shankar of the Army, to facilitate communication.
The women`s team`s attitude towards Limba was no different as they had a separate coach in Poornima Mahto of the Tata Archery Academy.
"It`s only Limba`s name was used as the chief coach. But he was treated like nobody in the camp. None of the archers ever listened to him, forget showing respect."
The source claimed that Deepika was no different.
Recalling an incident at the Games Village in London, he said, "The coach once called her but she never responded and did not even open the door."
"Despite being insulted repeatedly, he never complained. He`s humble and went away quietly as the archers wanted."
"His contribution to the Indian archery has been immense. He was instrumental is setting up the academy in Tata. He also helped out with another (SAIL Eklavya Archery Academy) in Kiriburu (in West Singhbhum of Jharkhand) along with Rajendra Guliya.
"But current archers are thinking they have become much bigger. The ego did them in (at London)," the source said.
The Indian archers` main complaint has been a lack of a foreign coach, something that the AAI Secretary General Mukherjee has always opposed.
The duo of Tarundeep Rai and Rahul Banerjee had taken the help of Korean coach Lim Chae Woong before the final Olympic Qualification tournament that was held on the sidelines of the World Cup Stage III in Ogden early July.
After securing the Olympic quota, Rai had credited the Korean coach.
"We were going through a terrible loss of form. But we were really benefited by his tips," he had said, thanking Olympic Gold Quest that had helped in getting the coach.
Talukdar, however, was keen to get the service of the Korean coach, who is currently with the Army Sports Institute in Pune.
"I`ve not yet decided, but I`m planning to go to Pune and train there," he told PTI from Guwahati.
Limba was incidentally India`s coach from 2002 to 2008 before he came in ahead of the Commonwealth Games 2010 in New Delhi.
Mukherjee, who had earlier said he would put down his papers taking the moral responsibility of the London debacle, refused to comment on differences between the archers and Limba.
"I don`t want to make any comment. But I`m sick and tired of archery. We have not been able to deliver. Now, I need a break from archery," Mukherjee said.
He, however, said the future of Indian archery is bright.
"Deepika is very talented. The male archers are also not finished yet. We have bright future."