Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Ace archer sets eye on gold

Guwahati, June 27: Arjuna awardee archer Jayanta Talukdar has set his eyes on medals in the Delhi Commonwealth Games and the Guangzhou Asian Games as part of his preparation for the 2012 London Olympics. The former world champion, currently ranked 11th, feels there are certain aspects which the Archery Federation of India needs to pay attention to during the grooming of the archers.
Talukdar, who is in the city after being part of the Indian team that annexed the gold in the recent World Cup meet in Antalya, had a brief chat with The Telegraph at his residence here regarding his views on different aspects of archery in India in general and Assam in particular. Excerpts:
TT: Do you feel any change in your performance this time compared to your earlier appearances in the World Cup since 2006?
Talukdar: Yes, my result in the indivi

dual event declined this time because I won a bronze in Antalya last year and this time, I finished fifth. But the overall performance was better than last year. It is because of the new format of scoring implemented by the FITA where the points scored in the earlier sets are not carried forward to the subsequent ones. We now have to win every set to be the eventual winners. I hope to adapt the new format by the time I take the field in the Shanghai (4th stage of the World Cup) in August-September.
TT: Any other factors responsible for the decline in form?
Talukdar: To some extent it is the burnout factor. We are too much into competitions. In the past five months we participated in 11 tournaments, which is over two meets per month. This is something the Archery Federation of India should look into. Our counterparts in North and South Korea and other better-rated countries do not participate so much in the early stage. They do it in the later stage so that they get the desired result in the main meets like the CWG or the Asian Games. The participation in the later stage helps them to be in peak form at the time of the main meets.
In our case, we become too fatigued and complacent by the time we participate in the bigger events because we have had enough since the beginning.
TT: A word about your preparation for the Delhi Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games?
Talukdar: We are practising in Calcutta. I am focused on winning medals in both the mega events as part of my preparation for the London Olympics.
But the intense heat in Calcutta is taking a toll on our practice. We practise from 5.30am and can hardly continue till 10.30am and in the evening we can venture out by only 4.30pm. The worst sufferers because of the heat are Tarundeep Rai, Chekrovolu Swuro, L. Bombayla Devi and myself because we hail from colder places. However, it can’t be helped because there are no proper archery centres in colder places. We have appealed for a change but could not find any alternative and are by now getting used to it.
TT: What do you feel about archers from Assam?
Talukdar: Our state is undoubtedly a gifted one with abundant talent. But I often come across archers who lack a professional attitude towards the sport. Ever since I joined the Tata Archery Academy, I have come across a number of talented archers from our state who have joined the academy and left soon after they get a job. I would like to mention Rajib Basumatary and Runu Swargiary who are quite talented but they did not exploit it properly. That should not be the attitude.
I was offered lucrative jobs and sponsorships many times, but I never gave up the academy because I don’t want to lose the facilities I am availing there. Every sport is thoroughly professional these days and to excel we need to be dedicated and even make sacrifices to our personal interests at times.

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