Former world champion Dola Banerjee expects Indian archers to break their medal jinx in the upcoming Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro from August 5 to 21. Indian archers have had a good record against the bigwigs of world archery but an Olympic medal has so far eluded them, and Dola expects at least two medals from the discipline in next month’s sporting extravaganza.
Indian women’s archery team featuring Dola had come closest to winning an Olympic medal when they finished in quarterfinal in 2004 Athens and 2008 Beijing Olympics. “This is the year which will change everything. I’m expecting at least two medals,” the two-time Olympian, said in an interview.
“We have seen how shooting’s landscape has changed after their first medal,” she said drawing a parallel with shooting where Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won a silver medal in double trap in 2004 Athens Olympics.
Then Abhinav Bindra went one step further to earn the country its first-ever Olympic individual gold in Beijing, and the rest was history.
The Indian shooting contingent once again are the biggest hope for India in Rio next month. “An Olympic medal will give archery a massive boost. Parents won’t hesitate in sending their wards to take up archery. There will be more support,” Dola said.
Once bitten, the archers this time are doubly cautious and have landed in Rio about a month in advance and are training in Marica, about 50kms southeast of Rio.