Leading into the 2012 London Olympics, the confident tone of India's archery contingent was unmistakable. The team's head coach, former Commonwealth Games gold medalist Limba Ram, was postulating on India's chances and the archers themselves were brimming with self-assurance. This was, after all, the first time since Athens 2004 that India had filled the six quota places available at the Games. India had had a successful season, with the highlight being the crowning of 18-year-old Deepaki Kumari as the women's World No. 1. There was even talk of India's archers winning a medal at the London Games.
Was this confidence misplaced? With the benefit of hindsight, it is easy to say yes. The men's team lost in a close shootout to Japan and the women's team, ranked second best in the world, lost Denmark in the first round. In the individual competition, the outcome was no different with Deepika especially producing a below par performance to bow out of the individual recurve event. It was almost embarrassing to watch India's archers, and the image of Bombayla Devi laughing after missing a shot during an event at Lord's is perhaps the lasting impression of the women's archery contingent in London.
The reasons for this failure to compete at the London Games have varied, with some citing the wind factor at Lord's - despite a conditioning camp in windy Gangtok to get the archers acclimatized for Londons soppy weather - and illness to certain players and others the need
08:41 AM, Aug 10, 2012