New Delhi: In a first, the historic Mughal period monument Red Fort will host the finals of Tata National Ranking Archery Tournament on Sunday, a competition which is being seen as a preparatory event for next year's Asia Cup to be held in the Capital from January 10-17.
While Red Fort will host the finals, the preliminary rounds of NRAT will he held at the Yamuna Sports Complex on Saturday.
The competition will be held in both compound and recurve events (men and women) and has been divided into three categories -- senior, junior and sub-junior.
All the top archers of the country, including Jayanta Talukdar, Tarundeep Rai, Rahul Banerjee, Atanu Das, Deepika Kumari, Dola Banerjee, L Bombayla Devi, Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chouhan, Sandeep Kumar, Trisha Deb among others will participate in the tournament.
The winner in the senior division of both recurve and compound will get a cash prize of Rs 1,00,000 while the runners-up, third place and fourth finishers will take home 75,000 and 50,000 respectively. The fourth place holder will be richer by Rs 25,000.
Similarly, the junior division will carry a prize purse of Rs 60,000 for the winner, Rs 50,000 for the second place and Rs 35,000 for third spot while the sub-junior division will have Rs 40,000 for the champion, Rs 30,000 for second place and Rs 25,000 for third spot.
The Archery Association of India (AAI) is also looking upon the weekend's Tata NRAT final to test its preparation for next year's Asia Cup, the hosting rights of which India got recently.
"It is for the first time in the history of Indian sports that any sports event is being organised in front of a historical monument - Red Fort. It would bring immense publicity to the event and to archery in India," Malhotra, also a veteran BJP leader, told reporters at his official residence here.
"This event is a rehearsal for the Asia Cup which we are hosting at the same venue in January next year," he said.
Malhotra said the AAI had got all the necessary permission from the Archaeological Survey of India to host the tournament in the 16th century monument.
The Tata NRAT Final will be live telecast by DD Sports and for the first time the organisers are planning to broadcast the event live on youtube and the website of world archery.
Meanwhile, while the AAI is planning to host the Asia Cup finals in Red Fort, the preliminary rounds of the event will be held at the Civil Services Officers Ground.