London: Lord's is called the ‘Mecca’ of cricket. If one delves into its history and how Indian cricketers have performed, several amazing stories can be recalled, like Dilip Vengsarkar’s three successive Test tons.
But even as the England team is being whacked by the South Africans in a home Test series, Lord’s will be used for the Olympic archery event over the next week or so, where the Indians are present in full strength.
All Indian eyes will be on Deepika Kumari, the world No. 1. Young and precocious, Deepika is aware that after a solid showing for months now, the nation looks up to her as a medal prospect.
It’s a tag which is nice to wear but comes with plenty of headaches. When you are hyped as the No. 1, there is a lot of pressure associated with it.
Conditions at Lord’s are not easy. In true British weather, when the cricket ball moves in the air, you can well imagine what the challenges are for an archer to shoot straight at the target.
No doubt, Deepika and her teammates Laishram Bombayla Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro have got sufficient practice at a historic venue. The big challenge starts on Friday where even before the opening ceremony, there will be a preliminary ranking round for the 64 archers.
For the men — Rahul Banerjee, Tarundeep Rai and Jayanta Talukdar — as well, this is a big challenge. The stock of Indian archery has gone up in recent times and the contingent is the largest possible.
The main competition for the Indians will come from South Korea in the men’s and women’s individual and team events. Not to be left behind are the archers from France and the United States.
Manager Paresh Mukherjee was guarded on the eve of the archery competition. “We have prepared hard and hope to do well rightaway,” he said.
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