The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Limba Ram accepts role off spotlight

Calcutta: From the highs of becoming a world record holder to the disappointment of being dropped from the Indian team, ace archer Limba Ram has seen it all. But now the former champion feels the time might just have come to leave the stage and pass on his knowledge to the younger generation.

Talking to The Telegraph, Friday Limba said: “It’s not that I cannot compete with the best anymore. But coaching does seem to be a better proposition for me at this stage.”

The thought of leaving the stage as a player also gets heightened by the fact that he is close to being dropped from the Indian team for the forthcoming world championships.

Eight top archers (four men and four women) will be going for the meet, and the former champion doesn’t stand too much of a chance of making the cut. “Yes, I know, I will not make the team for the World Championships. That’s definitely a huge disappointment,” Limba conceded here.

The Indian team for the world championship will be decided on the basis of the performance of the four national ranking meets, the third of which is currently on in the city.

As of now, Limba is in the eighth spot and unless something drastic happens, he will not make the team.

Talking about a coaching career which he is keen to pursue, Limba said: “The Rajasthan state association approached me to become the chief coach a couple of months back. I also had a talk with the state sports minister Raghuveer Singh Meena, who made a similar request. So I am seriously considering the issue,” he said.

He is also planning to do an NIS course from the SAI, which will hold him in good stead as a coach.

Meanwhile, the Archery Association of India (AAI) is open to considering Lima as a coach, if he is ready to retire from the game as a player.

“A player should know where to draw the line. If he wants to take up coaching, we will encourage him in every way,” Anil Kamineni, secretary general of the Archery Association of India said.

Preparation hampered

Meanwhile, the preparation of the Indian team for the world championship starting July 10 has been hampered by the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).

“We were supposed to go for a tournament in Singapore as a preparatory tournament for the world meet. But now it stands cancelled,” Kamineni said.

He also informed that another tournament in South Korea from June 6 to 11 is also likely to be cancelled.

The Indians, however, will be travelling to France in late May.

The world championships, in turn, will be the qualification tournament for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

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