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Assam archer eyes Olympics
- Jayanta Talukdar’s family hopes for more after gold brace in World Cup

Guwahati, May 10: Ace archer Jayanta Talukdar’s family is now waiting for him to hit the bull’s eye: an Olympic medal.

The dream has got bigger for the Talukdar household after the 23-year-old struck a grand golden double at the Archery World Cup at Porec in Croatia on Saturday. Not without reason, though.

Saturday’s double makes it a hattrick for Jayanta in the team event. He had bagged the team gold in the World Cup last year and two this year — Stage I and Stage II. It also gave him his second individual World Cup gold, the first coming in 2006, also at Porec.

A composed Ranjan Talukdar, Jayanta’s father, said that he was feeling proud but then yesterday’s result at Porec was along expected lines. “We were expecting it in a way. Honestly, we are now looking forward to the 2012 London Olympics. We hope that he bags an Olympic medal. That is our collective dream today. I hope he will do the state and the country proud. We will then celebrate in the true sense of the term,” Ranjan, a businessman, told The Telegraph here this afternoon, adding that he and his wife Satyawati would visit London if Jayanta keeps his date with destiny.

In fact, Talukdar senior told a well-wishing neighbour seeking a party to mark Jayanta’s feat that celebrations can wait till “Babu (Jayanta) bags an Olympic medal”.

The incumbent World No. 2 had missed a berth for the Beijing Olympics last year because of a dip in his performance as he was yet to adapt to new techniques imparted by his Korean coaches.

An assistant manager of sport with Tata Steel in Jamshedpur, Jayanta is confident about qualifying for the Olympics on the basis of his world ranking, his father said, adding that the wins were a result of his “dedication and devotion”.

His mother thanked god for all the wins. She has not only been offering prayers in temples across the city for years but has also virtually turned her house into one since Jayanta left for Croatia. Jayanta, a trainee at the Tata Archery Academy since 2000, is doing his BA from an open university.

Assam Archery Association joint secretary Pulin Saha described his feat as a great achievement. “He had won the titles within an hour of each other. Porec is lucky for him. He deserves the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for this achievement,” Saha observed, adding that his win would give a big boost to the game in the state.

“We are planning a grand reception for him,” Saha said.

Jayanta was awarded the Arjuna award in 2007 for the year 2006.

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