Guwahati, Wednesday, June 13, 2012
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Indian archers hope for Olympic berths

 KOLKATA, June 12 (PTI): Indian archers would look for more Olympic quotas when the World Cup Stage III begins on June 18 at Ogden, United States, with all eyes on the fancied menís team in their last chance to qualify for the London Games.

 The womenís team, along with Jayanta Talukdar in the menís section, have already made the Olympic cut. The onus now is on the menís team of Talukdar, Tarundeep Rai and Rahul Banerjee to finish among top three in the Olympic qualifiers to join the London bus.

A 15-day camp at Gangtok in conditions similar to that at Ogden and London, a mental conditioning to calm the nerves have been part of their preparation and head coach Limba Ram believes success at Ogden will set them on right direction ahead of the Olympics.

ďThis is the best chance we have to earn an Olympic medal, but for that the start has to be in Ogden. They are not yet certain of a team berth. There is tremendous pressure. Itís hard struggle. But I donít want them to relax either with just over a month for our dream event,Ē Limba told PTI, before leaving for Ogden today.

ďThis time, we are also leaving a few days in advance to get ourselves acclimatised to the conditions there,Ē he said about the most crucial meet for the menís team to be held from June 18-24.

The performance of the menís trio has been overshadowed by the success of the womenís team with Deepika Kumari emerging as the best bet for an Olympic medal.

But Limba said that the menís team was equally good with Talukdar in peak form.

ďThey are peaking at the right time. I just want that,Ē Limba said referring to the menís team silver medal finish at the World Cup Stage II at Antalya.

ďHe has a wealth of experience. Iím sure thatís going to come to use this time around.Ē

Of the trio, Rai is the most experienced, having made an Olympic debut in Athens 2004, but after winning a historic silver in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, the Sikkim archerís form has dipped.

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