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Archers denied visas, World Cup trip called off

Archie Little | New Delhi

The Indian recurve archers’ preparation for the Tokyo Olympics suffered a setback as they will be unable to take part in World Cup Stage II in Lausanne from May 17 to 23.

The Swiss embassy has refused to issue visas to the country’s archers in view of the flying ban imposed on Indian travellers on account of the Covid-19 situation prevailing in India.

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The upbeat Indian archers were looking for some valuable practice as well as medals after bagging four from World Cup Stage I that was completed last month at Guatemala City. The husband-wife duo of Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari claimed individual gold medals there.

For the Lausanne World Cup, the core group of women archers — Deepika, Ankita Bhakat, Komalika Bari and Madhu Vedwan and the men’s team of Atanu, Tarundeep Rai, Pravin Jadhav and Dhiraj Bommadevara were selected to represent the country.

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Archery Association of India’s (AAI) secretary Pramod Chandurkar felt they have little to do in this situation. “We requested their embassy office in Delhi for 6-8 days of short visa to Lausanne for the World Cup, but we received a communication form them refusing the same due to the serious Covid-19 situation here,” he stated.

However, the AAI has learnt to start process to get visas for the archers for World Cup Stage 3 in Paris from June 21 to 27, which is the final team qualification event for the Tokyo Games.

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The Indian women archers will seek to bag a team quota there as so far only two-time Olympian Deepika has earned an individual quota for the Games.

“We are now focused on sending the archers for the Olympic qualifying meet in Paris and the AAI has already started processing visa applications for the same, keeping the strict flying rules and 10-day quarantine in mind. We can’t miss the tournament as the women team’s Olympic qualification is at stake,” Chandurkar was quoted as saying.

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