The Sports Ministry provided relief to the archers competing at the selection trials for the Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers starting on Saturday, by assuring that ministry will bear the expenses of archers playing in the Olympic trials. The ministry has informed that the Sports Authority of India (SAI) will be responsible for boarding and lodging of archers who are presently in Pune to participate in the selection trials for the Olympic Qualifiers.
SAI issued a statement that said, “The government will provide support as has been done for the national campers for the boarding and lodging of the men’s and women’s recurve archers competing at the trials in the Army Sports Institute (ASI).”
The decision came after several media reports raised the issue and archers including the likes of Olympians Deepika Kumari, Tarundeep Roy, Bombayla Devi, and Atanu Das were left in the lurch after reaching Pune. Reports claimed that archers had expressed anger over the decision as they claimed that they need to focus on the trail instead of focusing on arranging lodging and food facilities. Archers had also claimed that earlier the arrangements were made by SAI and the sports ministry.
As per reports, since the Archery Association of India (AAI) stands suspended, the Delhi High Court had appointed a five-member transitory committee to conduct the trials. The committee which consists of members from the two factions of AAI, SAI, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Ministry had ordered that archers, accompanying coaches and officials will have to bear their own bills.
It is to be noted that 21 archers including Deepika, Bombayla, Atanu were exempted from the stage 2 trials. All these archers were exempted on the basis of their participation in stage 1 open trials held in August 2019. However, these archers will have to appear for the stage 3 trials to be held from January 18 to 22.