Rahul Banerjee`s missing equipment still to be found

Kolkata: With two days to go for the Olympic qualifiers at Ogden in the US, desperate attempts by the Archery Association of India to trace Rahul Banerjee`s missing baggage containing his equipment have gone in vain.

Despite an exhange of mails with Air France since June 15, the Indian archer`s bow case remains untraceable.

The case containing two sets of bows and arrows, one telescope, parts for both bow and arrows is valued at Rupees four lakh.

Responding to an SOS from Banerjee that his baggage was loaded on the connecting flight from Paris to Saltlake in the USA, AAI Secretary General Paresh Nath Mukherjee sent a mail to Air France.

But the airlines asked the AAI to contact Delta Airline which was yet to respond, four days after it was brought to their notice.

"We would like to advise you that the luggage was loaded from Delhi. We request you to please contact Delta Airlines. Please accept our since apologies," Rupesh Luthra of Air France KLM wrote.

The AAI secretary general also wrote to the organising committee of the Archery World Cup Stage III, but all efforts went in vain.

"We are helpless. It`s really difficult with a new set of equipment. We hope to get his bow case before the Olympic qualifiers begin," Mukherjee told PTI.

The AAI has been forced to arrange a set of equipment for Banerjee, something that means the archer will have to set his fingers afresh in a sport demanding utmost precision.

Equipment of other two archers, Jayanta Talukdar and Tarundeep Rai, and luggage`s of the six-member Indian team however have been received.

The Archery World Cup Stage III got underway today with the qualifications round.

India have already secured Olympics berth in the women`s section in which Deepika Kumari, Laishram Bombayla Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro have made the cut. In the men`s section, Talukdar is the sole entry at the moment.

If India make the cut in both the sections, it would be a first after their 2004 Athens participation.

London Games is scheduled from July 27 to August 12.

PTI