Damage Control: SAI says it will take care of archers’ boarding and lodging

The Sports Ministry’s decision came after reports claimed that Olympians like Deepika, Bombayla and Atanu were left to fend for themselves.

The stage 2 of the open trails will be held from January 4 to 7. (REPRESENTATIVE IMAGE)   -  GETTY IMAGES

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Friday said it will arrange for the boarding and lodging of top recurve archers of the country who are currently in Pune to compete at the selection trials for the Tokyo Olympic Qualifiers starting on Saturday.

“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 Sports Authority of India (SAI) said in a statement.

The Sports Ministry’s decision came after some reports claimed that Olympians like Deepika Kumari, Bombayla Devi and Atanu Das were left to fend for themselves after arriving in Pune for the selection trials.

As per the reports, the archers were left to arrange for their own boarding and lodging after arriving in Pune since SAI has made no such arrangement in the absence of a suspended Archery Association of India.

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju later took to his official twitter handle to confirm that the archers’ boarding and lodging will be taken care of by the government.

“No athlete attending a national camp or trail will have to pay for boarding and lodging. The government will provide support, like in previous cases, to the men’s and women’s recurve archers competing at the trials in the Army Sports Institute (ASI), Pune, that starts on Jan 4,” Rijiju wrote.

Deepika, Bombayla, Atanu and 21 other archers have been exempted from stage 2 trials as they were part of the stage 1 open trials held in August last year. They will be competing in stage 3 to be held from January 18 to 22.

They were also part of the national camp for the Asian Archery Championships held in Bangkok from November 21 to 28.

The stage 2 of the open trails will be held from January 4 to 7.