Railways rule the roost

Rahul Banerjee is congratulated by his sister Dola on winning the men’s recurve individual gold.-PTI

But for the mess created by the officials, the National Championship could have been one of the finest staged in recent times, writes S. Sabanayakan.

Indian archery, having made its mark in the international arena in the past few years, is simply resting on its oars instead of taking a step or two further. Though the time is ripe for introducing professionalism in the running of the National body, the officialdom has opted to conveniently ignore the most important aspect of sports administration — sensible governance.

Archery is being run in this country in a most amateurish way. This was vindicated by a number of incidents that came to the fore during the 28th National Championship in Jamshedpur (January 28 to 31) and they strengthened the feeling that the total outlook of the Archery Association of India (AAI) should change for the better.

The Nationals attracted as many as 654 archers in three bow categories — Indian (bamboo) men and women, compound men and women and recurve men and women. And considering the number of competitors, the championship was perhaps the largest in terms of participation.

The excessive number of participants brought with it some problems too. The Jharkhand Archery Association, headed by the Arjuna Award winner Sanjeeva Singh, used two huge grounds, the archery field of the J. R. D. Tata Sports Complex for the modern bow section and the nearby Keenan Stadium for the Indian round. Each field had 50 target faces and still there was much delay on the first two days when the FITA round competition over four distances in modern and two distances in the Indian round were gone through. Shockingly, some of the arrows went through the targets delaying the proceedings greatly.

Then there were innumerable errors while collating the points of each archer. The most shocking was the elimination of Olympian Satyadev Prasad, who lost in the second round of the individual recurve round in a shoot-off after he was tied with another archer. Prasad later found out to his mortification that he had, in fact, won the match by one point. Because of a counting error, Prasad was given the same score as his opponent and asked to take the tie-breaker which he did and lost!

In another incident, in the men’s compound individual semifinals, Bijay Rai of Meghalaya and Vikash Sherawat of Delhi were tied on total and had to go through the shoot-off three times. Instead of following the rules, the officials declared the Delhi archer winner on a flimsy ground and when Rai appealed against the verdict, the two were asked to go through one-arrow tie-break shoot-off the next day. Rai won the tie-breaker and secured a place in the final and eventually emerged the champion.

There was also an instance when two archers were given points as 129 to 127 when the 12 arrows could give only a maximum of 120 points! And this glaring error reflected in the score-sheet circulated to the participants and the media.

More than once the result-sheet circulated to the media had wrong information. If that was not enough, there was a total lack of transparency in giving out existing records for the benefit of the media. Finally, when the National records were furnished to the media after much persuasion, it was found that some of the records were not updated. The AAI officials, however, maintained that they were the existing records. When the archers and coaches were contacted, they gave different figures!

Amidst all these shortcomings, the championship produced 13 National records as per the data available with Sportstar. Rahul Banerjee of Steel Plant and Laishram Bombayla Devi of the Railways clinched the men’s and women’s recurve individual gold medals. Bijay Rai of Meghalaya and Namita Yadav of Jharkhand emerged the compound bow individual champions as Bishnu Ramnath of SSB and Pratibha Boro of Assam took the top honours in the Indian round.

The Railways, spearheaded by their women’s team, took the overall championship with six gold, four silver and four bronze medals for a total of 50 points. Services and Steel Plant Sports Board followed in that order.

L. Bombayla Devi... impressive performance.-S. PATRONOBISH

The Results

Olympic Round Recurve — Men’s individual final:

3rd place: Team final: 3rd place: Women’s individual final: 3rd place: Team final: 3rd place:

Men’s compound individual final: Bijay Rai (Meg) bt Santosh Tamang (Ser) 109-107. 3rd place: Vikash Sherawat (Dli) bt Rajwant Singh (Dli) 107-106. Team final: MP bt Rajasthan 219-216. 3rd place: Railways bt CRPF 222-216. Women’s individual final: Namita Yadav (Jhar) bt Niva Kerketta (Jhar) 109-108. 3rd place: Shreya Sen (Mani) bt Sweety Kumari (MP) 107-102. Team final: Jharkhand bt MP 224-198. 3rd place: Mizoram bt Manipur 198-195.

Indian Round — Men’s individual final: Bishnu Ramnath (SSB) bt Uttam Kesari (Ser) 111-102. 3rd place: Tilth Aboh (Ser) bt Ashok Biswa (Meg) 107-95. Team final: MP bt Manipur 213-210. 3rd place: Assam bt Assam Rifles 220-209. Women’s individual final: Pratibha Boro (Asm) bt Nitu Engole (Mah) 103-97. 3rd place: P. Theurani Sabi Devi (Aru) bt A. Sanathoi (Mani) 100-80. Team final: Arunachal Pradesh bt SAI 198-188. 3rd place: Assam bt Manipur 202-196.

FITA Round Recurve — Men’s 90m: 1. Priyank (UP) 330 points, 2. Jayanta Talukdar (SP) 327, 3. Mangal Singh Champia (Rly) 326. 70m: 1. Tarundeep Rai (Ser) 344, 2. Talukdar 338, 3. Priyank 336. 50m: 1. Talukdar 336 points, 2. K. Ngama Kom (Mani) 334 (16), 3. Priyank 334 (15). 30m: 1. Talukdar 353 (29,15), 2. Priyank 353 (29,12), 3. Rahul Banerjee (SP) 352. Overall: 1. Talukdar 1354, 2. Priyank 1353, 3. Mangal Singh Champia (Rly) 1341. FITA team: 1. Steel Plant 3998, 2. Services 3937, 3. UP 3885.

Women – 70m: 1. L. Bombayla Devi (Rly) 320 points, 2. Dola Banerjee (Rly) 316, 3. V. Pranitha (SP) 316. 60m: 1. Reena Kumari (Rly) 335, 2. Pranitha 333, 3. Bombayla 332. 50m: 1. Dola 331, 2. Bombayla 324, 3. Chekrovolu Swuro (Nag) 319. 30m: 1. Dola 350, 2. Rosie Lalrem (SP) 346, 3. Reshma Banerjee (Jhar) 345. Overall: 1. Dola 1327, 2. Bombayla 1319, 3. Pranitha 1307. Team: 1. Railways 3949, 2. Steel Plant 3867, 3. Jharkhand 3755.

Men’s compound – 90m: 1. Chungda Sherpa (Ser) 326, 2. L. Haridas (Ser) 33, 3. N. Arun Kumar (AP) 320. 70m: 1. Umesh B. Kuvathekar (MP) 343, 2. Kh. Ratan Kumar (Ser) 342, 3. Isiah R. Sanam (AP) 340. 50m: 1. S. Sridhar (Ser) 345, 2. Sanjay Swansi (Jhar) 342 (20,5), 3. M. Jail Singh (AP) 342 (20,3). 30m: 1. Kh. Ratan Kumar (Ser) 357, 2. Jayanti Lal Nanoma (Raj) 355 (32), 3. Chungda Sherpa (Ser) 355 (31,16). Overall: 1. Kh. Ratan Kumar (Ser) 1357 (87), 2. Chungda Sherpa 1357 (80), 3. Babban Kumar (MP) 1349. Team: 1. Services 4056, 2. MP 4030, 3. AP 3955.

Women’s compound – 70m: 1. Bhegyabati Chanu (Jhar) 338, 2. Jhano Hansdah (Jhar) 331, 3. Namita Yadav (Jhar) 330. 60m: 1. Manjudha Soy (Dli) 340, 2. Bhegyabati 337, 3. Namita 335. 50m: 1. Sweety Kumari (MP) 339, 2. Jhano 338, 3. Virushali Gorle (Mah) 334. 30m: 1. Manjudha 352, 2. Niva Kerketta (Jhar) 350, 3. Bhegyabati 347. Overall: 1. Jhano 1348, 2. Bhegyabati 1344, 3. Renu Munda (MP) 1329. Team: 1. Jharkhand 4019, 2. MP 3903, 3. Manipur 3723.

Indian round — Men’s 50m: 1. S. Basanta (Mani) 329, 2. U. Kesari (Ser) 325, 3. O. Basumatary (Asm) 321. 30m: 1. Arun Bora (Asm) 338, 2. Suraj Singh (MP) 335 (15), 3. R. Rakesh (AP) 335 (13). Team: 1. Manipur 1927, 2. Services 1913, 3. MP 1909.

Women’s 50m: 1. L. Ranjana Devi (Aru) 307, 2. Rupal (UP) 306, 3. Nitu Engole (Mah) 304. 30m: 1. Pratibha Bora (Asm) 332, 2. Th. Ishembi (Mani) 320, 3. A. Sanathoi (Mani) 313. Overall: 1. Pratibha 627, 2. Ishembi 619, 3. Nitu 607. Team: 1. Manipur 1822, 2. Assam 1793, 3. Maharashtra 1781.

Team championship

1. Railways 6 (gold), 4 (silver), 4 (bronze) — 50 points; 2. Services 4-6-2 — 42; 3. Steel Plant 4-5-3 — 41.

* * * RECORDS AT A GLANCE

FITA Round Recurve — Men’s 90m: Priyank Tyagi 330 points — National Record (Previous: 318 by Somai Murmu, 2001); 70m: Tarundeep Rai 344 — NR (Previous: 339 by Talukdar in Kolkata, 2006); Overall: Jayanta Talukdar 1354 — NR (Previous: 1350 by Talukdar in Kolkata, 2006).

FITA team: Steel Plant 3998 — NR (Previous: 3961 by Jharkhand in Kolkata, 2006).

Team (24 arrows): Jharkhand (Talukdar, Banerjee & A. Raju) 226/240 — NR (Previous: 216 by Jharkhand in Vijayawada, 2007).

FITA Round Recurve — Women’s 50m: Dola Banerjee 331 — NR (Previous: 328 by Dola in Ernakulam, 2005).

FITA Women’s team: Railways 3949 — NR (Previous: UP 3908 in Kolkata, 2006).

Compound FITA overall individual: Kh. Ratan Kumar 1357 — NR (Previous: 1353 by Naresh Damor in Kolkata, 2006); Overall team: Services 4056 — NR (Previous: 3966 by Jharkhand in Kolkata, 2006).

Women’s Compound 70m: Bhegyabati Chanu 338 — NR (Previous: 334 by Jhano Hansdah in Kolkata, 2006).

Indian Round Men’s 50m: S. Basanta 329 — NR (Previous: 326 by Th. Sanatamba Singh in Vijayawada, 2007); Team: Manipur 1927 — NR (Previous: 1918 by Services in Jamshedpur, 2006).

Indian Round Women’s 30m: Pratibha Bora 332 — NR (Previous: 322 by L. Gitanjali Devi in Vijayawada, 2007).