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Purnima raring to go

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By JAYESH THAKER in Jamshedpur
  • Published 31.07.08

Jamshedpur, July 31: She has helped archers hit the bullseye with precision in major international events. But Olympic Games always remained elusive for Purnima Mahato, a reputed archery coach, till yesterday.

But her dream has come true now. She has won a ticket to Beijing as coach of the Indian archery team for Olympics.

Narrating her happiness, Purnima told The Telegraph: “It is like a dream come true. Olympics is a big event and being a part of it is certainly a matter of pride.”

Purnima would be assisting the four-member national team comprising Dola Banerji, L. Bombayla Devi, V. Pranitha and Mangal Singh Champia in China.

After a busy schedule at the ongoing national training camp at the SAI eastern centre in Calcutta, the 31-year-old Purnima sounded confident about her stint in Beijing.

“It’s a challenge for me to ensure that the Indian outfit does well in Beijing. The team is shooting well and I’m quite sure about a medal from the women’s squad in the team event,” she said over phone from Calcutta.

Purnima, who also hones skills of cadets of Tata Archery Academy (TAA) and is employed at Tata steel sports department, said she had never thought of becoming a coach of the Olympic-bound national team.

An archer of repute during her heyday, Purnima is not a greenhorn in coaching. In 2005, she accompanied the Indian archery team to Spain for the 43rd Senior World Outdoor Archery Championship, where India won a silver medal. She was the coach of the national outfit, which claimed top slot in the boys’ event.

Her latest achievement as a coach was at the 2nd World Cup Archery held at Croatia in 2008, where the Indian team won a silver and a bronze.