The Indian Archery Team will miss out on the upcoming World Cup Stage 2, in Lausanne, after the Swiss Embassy rejected to issue the athletes short-term visas, owing to the travel ban imposed on Indian travellers to the country. So far, four India archers have qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics.
Archery, which is supposed to be one of India’s golden ducks in the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, has already seen four athletes qualify for the mega-event. However, the Indian women’s team, a possible medal contender is yet to qualify collectively as a unit, with less than three months left.
The trio of Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari, was aiming to qualify for the Olympics in the upcoming event in upcoming World Cup Stage 2, in Lausanne, in Switzerland. However, the travel ban imposed by the European countries for Indian travellers owing to the surge in COVID-19 cases has prompted the Swiss Embassy from issuing short term visas for Indian archers.
“The Swiss authorities are only processing visas for valid national residence permit and long-term type D (education and employment). They are not issuing Schengen visa type C. They are also not processing short-term visas (tourist, visit or business),” said AAI secretary Pramod Chandurkar.
"We requested their embassy office in Delhi for 6-8 days of short visa to Lausanne for the World Cup, but we received a communication from them refusing the same due to the serious Covid-19 situation here,” added the official.
However, the squad has one last opportunity to qualify for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, during the World Cup Stage 3, in Paris, June. The Archery Association of India (AAI) is optimistic that the travel ban will be lifted by the tournament approaches.
“We are now focused on sending the archers for the Olympic qualifying meet in Paris and the AAI has already started processing visa applications for the same, keeping the strict flying rules and 10-day quarantine in mind. We can’t miss the tournament as the women team’s Olympic qualification is at stake,” concluded Pramod.