Rajat expresses disappointment after compound team's 'embarrassing' World Cup pull out

Archery Association of India secretary general stated that they didn’t want to risk exposing the recurve team, which qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, with the compound team.

Rajat Chauhan has an individual silver at the 2015 World Cup archery in compound bow category.

Rajat Chauhan, winner of individual silver at the 2015 World Cup archery in compound bow category, says he is mentally disturbed and clueless about the future after the Indian compound team was pulled out of the World Cup Stage I in Guatemala from April 19 to 25.

“It is terribly disappointing. We were on our way from Sonepat and crossing the Karnal by-pass, an hour away from boarding the flight for the World Cup on Thursday night when we were told that the compound
team will not be going for the World Cup because our coach Gaurav Sharma tested false positive,” Rajat informed Sportstar from Jaipur on Sunday.

Archery Association of India secretary general Pramod Chandurkar stated that they didn’t want to risk exposing the recurve team, which qualified for the Tokyo Olympics, to get in contact with the compound archery team as the members were in direct contact with the coach, who tested COVID-19 positive.

“But, why were the tests not conducted 72 hours before our scheduled departure?” asks Rajat. “For that would have helped us avoid this major embarrassment,” he added.

“Ironically, everyone of the compound team tested negative after the decision to pull out. So, why should the archers suffer despite all the efforts to train for what could have been the biggest event after the pandemic broke out last year. We were sure of not returning empty-handed from the World Cup,” the 27-year-old Rajat said.

“I don’t understand the logic behind the decision to pull the compound team out of the World Cup. They could have easily conducted the RT-PCR tests at the airport also,” he felt. "And, it is disappointing that just because the compound bow category is not an Olympic event, we should be treated this way," he said.

“My biggest problem is that I have recently joined Rajasthan Police and taken permission first to train in Sonepat for one month and then again to compete in the World Cup. Now, I will have to explain in writing to my bosses about the whole episode. Imagine my plight in facing them,” Rajat asked.

For her part, V. Jyothi Surekha, winner of seven World Cup medals, who returned to her hometown Vijayawada, said they were helpless even while disappointed with the way things have gone wrong. “We were told that the tests were done on April 15 because the previous day was a holiday. So, we had to accept what had happened,” Surekha said.

“It would have been great if we were to compete in what is obviously the biggest event for all of us after the pandemic broke out last year," she added.

With the national camp for compound archery team discontinued till April 30, the members of the team say they are staring at an uncertain future even though two more World Cups are scheduled later this year.

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