The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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8 cross 1300-mark

Calcutta: The first national ranking archery meet (second phase) got off to a roaring start at the SAI complex on Friday. As many as eight archers topped the 1,300-point mark in the Fita round competition, something unprecedented in the domestic circuit.

The top five in the men’s leaderboard all returned 1,300-plus scores, with UP’s Satyadev Prasad managing 1317. Satyadev, the country’s most consistent performer in the last two years, thus equalled his world championship tally where India finished a creditable fourth.

Young Mazi Swayan of Pune’s Army Sports Institute (ASI) totalled 1315, followed by another ASI competitor Tarundip Pal (1312). Veteran Limba Ram (1305) and Kailash (1301) took the next two spots.

Leading the women’s field of nine participants was Dola Banerjee with a score of 1309. Chekerovolu Sworu (1307) and Reena Kumari (1304) also crossed the magical mark. Completing the top five were Sumangala (1283) and Bhagyashri (1269).

The Fita round is an 144-arrow affair over four distances — 90m, 70m, 50m, 30m in men’s and 70m, 60m, 50m, 30m in women’s. Satyadev underlined his consistency, doing well in all but one of the categories — first in 50m with 335, third in 70m and 30m with 328 and 350, respectively.

Dola, too, performed uniformly well. She was the best in 30m with 351, second in 60m (330), third in both 70m and 50m (314 each).

“This is a significant day in Indian archery. Eight scores over the magical figure of 1,300 have never been achieved in our country… the norm is two, three or at the most four. It’s a very rare occurrence for any tournament anywhere in the world,” said Paresh Mukherjee, chairman of Archery Association of India’s technical committee.

This is the first of eight preparatory meets for next year’s Athens Olympics for which the Indian team has already qualified.

Amritsar will host the second leg (September 24-26), followed by Delhi, Hyderabad, Pune, Jamshedpur, Bangalore and Meerut. The team for the Olympics will be picked after the final leg in June next year.

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