India tops a poor field

INDIA'S domination of the first Asian junior archery championship was near total leaving the poor foreign field to take the crumbs.

S. SABANAYAKAN

INDIA'S domination of the first Asian junior archery championship was near total leaving the poor foreign field to take the crumbs. The three-day meet inaugurated on January 10 at the archery field of the J.R.D. Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur, could have been utilised to give the Indian archers the much-needed international exposure at home. Instead the meet was used to give India, bereft of any worthy international medal in the past, easy pickings thus projecting a rosy picture of Indian archery.

The Archery Association of India (AAI), which got the nod to host the meet at the Asian Archery Confederation (AAC) meeting during the Busan Asian Games, could have scheduled the championship later in the year after getting confirmation from countries like South Korea, Japan, China and other nations instead of hurrying to conduct the meet with the participation of third rate teams like Malaysia, Bhutan, Indonesia and Myanmar. The whole exercise could have been handled in a professional manner for the benefit of the country's top juniors. A top AAI official, however, put the blame squarely on the Asian body. After having agreed to okay the meet, the AAC failed to ensure maximum participation.

But the fact was neither Indian archery nor the sponsor gained from this venture. In the first place, some self seeking individuals of the host state made a big noise about the Indian performance, which will only cause more damage than good to the sport. Secondly, the true strength of the Indian talent would never be known unless pitted against the best in the continent. The inaugural under-18 championship for boys and girls in effect had just two nations — Bhutan and India — participating with full set of players. In fact, India fielded two teams, A and B, in both categories. Malaysia, Bhutan along with the two Indian teams formed the boys' team championship while Bhutan, Myanmar and the two Indian teams were in fray in the girls' team competition. Indonesia had just two boys and a girl and participated in the individual championship only. The AAI did get the confirmation from Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh but for inexplicable reasons, none turned up leaving the field weak. The AAI did send invitations to all the leading lights of the continent without much response. When India was allotted the first Asian championship way back in 1980, only four countries — China, Indonesia, Japan and India — participated at Calcutta. But then the other three teams were much stronger than India and eliminated any chance of lopsided contests. Like the Asian championship, no doubt the junior meet too would grow in size and stature in the years to come.Despite lack of quality competition, the junior championship saw some stellar showing by two rookies, Jayanta Talukdar and Naohmi Laloo. Talukdar, a 15-year-old boy from Guwahati, was the cynosure of all eyes on the first day of the competition. In the single FITA round contest, where archers shoot 144 arrows over four distances — 90m, 70, 50 and 30m — he accumulated 1292 points for a new junior National record. This bested the previous score of 1287 by Manoj Kumar of Uttar Pradesh set at the junior National held at Patiala in 2000. Talukdar also improved the record in the 50m event with a score of 332. Vishwas of UP with 330 set the previous best at the Meerut junior National in early 2000. The best individual score in the Olympic round also went to Talukdar. His 110 in the final against teammates Bulbul Marandi and against Kapil in the quarterfinals bettered 108 registered by Subhas Hansda and Birsa Soren at the junior National held at Delhi last year.

Naohmi, a 15-year-old girl from Shillong (Meghalaya), underlined her growing stature beating two internationals to the gold medal. She beat team captain Keziengunuo Theuno in the final and tamed another international Bansaralin Dhar in the semifinals. The record showing, of course, came from Manjudha Soy whose unbelievable 111 out of a maximum of 120 against Bansaralin Dhar's 110 in the bronze medal fight took the breath away. Interestingly, Manjudha had competed in the Indian round (bamboo bows and arrows) and modern round competition just a week before the junior National. Bansaralin, who topped the FITA competition with a total of 1276 points, set a new record in the 70m distance with a score of 317 as against Reena Kumari's effort of 306 established at Patiala in 2000.

The results:

Boys Olympic round final (12 arrows each): Jayanta Talukdar (India-A) 110 bt Bulbul Marandi (Ind-A) 105. For 3rd place: Vikas (Ind-B) 106 bt Subhash Hansda (Ind-B) 104. Semifinals: Talukdar 103 bt Hansda 100; Marandi 107 bt Vikas 97. Quarterfinals: Talukdar 110 bt Kapil (Ind-B) 99; Hansda 106 bt Kuswantoro (Ina) 99; Vikas 107 bt N. Ravindar (Ind-A) 106; Marandi 105 bt Jayantilal Nanoma (Ind-B) 100. Pre-quarterfinals (18 arrows each): Talukdar 163 bt Tshewang Namgay (Bhu) 148; Kapil 161 bt Mukesh M. Khillare (Ind-A) 150; Kuswantoro 161 bt Namgay (Bhu) 150; Hansda 160 bt Murphy Din (Mal) 153; Ravindar 155 bt Md. Yamin Jamil (Mal) 147; Vikash 150 bt Namgay Gyeltshen (Bhu) 149; Marandi 161 bt Chencho Dorji (Bhu) 153; Nanoma 145 (10) bt Tun Lin Aung (Myn) 145 (9).

Team championship final (27 arrows each team): India A (Talukdar, Khillare, Ravindar and Marandi) 241 bt Bhutan 221. For 3rd place: India B 227 bt Malaysia 214. Semifinals: India A 238 bt Malaysia 204; Bhutan 232 bt India B 221.

Girls Olympic round final (12 arrows each): Naohmi Laloo (India A) 108 bt Keziengunuo Theuno (Ind-A) 100. For 3rd place: Manjudha Soy (Ind-B) 111 bt Bansaralin Dhar (Ind-A) 110. Semifinals: Naohmi 102 bt Bansaralin 94; Keziengunuo 103 bt Manjudha 100. Quarterfinals: Bansaralin 104 bt Mandavi Sharma (Ind-B) 90; Naohmi 105 bt Nang Mo Hwom (Myn) 98; Manjudha 93 bt Shamani Ganesan (Mal) 89; Keziengunuo 103 bt Lavanyah Raj (Mal) 98. Pre-quarterfinals (18 arrows each): Bansaralin 155 bt Sonam Choden (Bhu) 147; Mandavi 152 bt Sumangla Sharma (Ind-A) 149; Nang 151 bt Yazneen S. Rana (Ind-B) 132; Naohmi 160 bt Sushama (Ind-B) 134; Shamani 154 bt Tshewang Choki (Bhu) 142; Manjudha 149 bt San Yu Htwe (Myn) 141; Lavanyah 141 bt Thidar Win (Myn) 140; Keziengunuo 159 bt Kinley Gyem (Bhu) 148.

Team championship final (27 arrows each team): India A (Naohmi, Sumangla, Bansaralin and Keziengunuo) 216 bt India B 212. For 3rd place: Myanmar 201 bt Bhutan 176. Semifinals: India A 214 bt Bhutan 197; India B 208 bt Myanmar 196.

Single FITA round, boys (read as 90, 70, 50, 30m and total): 1. Jayanta Talukdar (India A) 293, 320, 332, 347 = 1292 points; 2. Jayantilal Nanoma (Ind-B) 288, 310, 321, 343 = 1262; 3. N. Ravindar (Ind-A) 290, 311, 314, 343 = 1258; 4. Subhas Hansda (Ind-B) 290, 315, 304, 346 = 1255, 5. Kuswantoro (Ina) 298, 301, 312, 338 = 1249; 6. Vikas (Ind-B) 282, 320, 301, 342 = 1245; 7. Bulbul Marandi (Ind-A) 273, 316, 304, 343 = 1236; 8. Kapil (Ind-B) 288, 298, 307, 341 = 1234; 9. Mukesh M. Khillare (Ind-A) 278, 284, 315, 343 = 1220; 10. Chencho Dorji (Bhu) 271, 300, 311, 338 = 1220; 11. Namgay Geltshen (Bhu) 1218; 12. Namgay (Bhu) 1189; 13. Murphy Din (Mal) 1184; 14. Md. Yamin Jamil (Mal) 1183; 15. Tun Lin Aung (Myn) 1167; 16. Tshewang Namgay (Bhu) 1124; 17. Md. Kaharuddin Asah (Mal) 1078; 18. Fany Andyanto (Ina) 1068.

Girls (read as 70, 60, 50, 30m and total): 1. Bansaralin Dhar (Ind-A) 317, 313, 306, 340 = 1276; 2. Keziengunuo Theuno (Ind-A) 303, 310, 304, 338 = 1255; 3. Shamani Ganesan (Mal) 303, 316, 306, 329 = 1254; 4. Naohmi Laloo (Ind-A) 276, 320, 296, 337 = 1229; 5. Nang Mo Hwom (Myn) 301, 305, 290, 327 = 1223; 6. Manjudha Soy (Ind-B) 291, 298, 295, 334 = 1218; 7. Lavanyah Raj (Mal) 287, 302, 299, 323 = 1211; 8. Sumangla Sharma (Ind-A) 278, 309, 288, 325 = 1200; 9. Mandavi Sharma (Ind-B) 271, 294, 301, 331 = 1197; 10. Thidar Win (Myn) 273, 298, 293, 322 = 1186; 11. San Yu Htwe (Myn) 1185; 12. Yazneen S. Rana (Ind-B) 1180; 13. Sushama (Ind-B) 1170; 14. Aye Thidar (Myn) 1167; 15. Kinley Gyem (Bhu) 1125; 16. Sonam Choden (Bhu) 1122; 17. Dellie T. Dinda (Ina) 1121; 18. Sangay Wangmo (Bhu) 1107; 19. Tshewang Choki (Bhu) 1058.