Calcutta: A common sporting adage warns upcoming sportspersons to never underestimate old warhorses. Limba Ram may well be past his prime. But the archer from Rajasthan, loaded with years of experience, showed on Sunday at the SAI Eastern Centre how to rise to the occasion.
His performance also justified what former Olympics gold medallist Leslie Claudius, who graced the meet as chief guest, said when he was being introduced to the contestants: “If you want to be a champion, self-belief is must”.
Making the Olympic Round finals of the third national ranking archery at 16th place hardly looked a threat to the other contestants. But overnight leader Satyadeo Prasad and others in the vanguard learnt a rude lesson from the veteran Limba.
In the pre-quarters, the 31-year old Limba halted Satyadev’s spate of success.
In the final, against N. Ravinder of Andhra Pradesh, Limba went down fighting in the first match with a 104-106 verdict. But he foughtback to notch up the next two matches 106-102 and 104-96 to emerge as the champion. Limba pocketed Rs 15,000, while Ravinder had to be content with Rs 10,000. The third place and Rs 6,000 went to M.R. Tirkey, winner over Ved Kumar with 107-104, 108-103 result.
In the women’s category, however, things went according to the form book, though Dola Banerjee of Jharkhand had to struggle to get past statemate Rena Kumari 2-1 in the final.
Dola lost the opening final match 99-102, but evened the scoreline by winning the second in tie- breaker 100 (8)-100 (7). In the decider, Dola pipped Kumari by a point (107-106) to ensure a winner’s purse of Rs 15,000. Kumari got Rs 10,000. Bhagyabati Chanu of Manipur beat Chekrovelu Swuro of Andhra Pradesh to finish third.