Olympic qualification for the Indian women’s recurve team is in jeopardy as they are still unsure of participation in the upcoming final qualification event in Paris, from June 18. The disaster caused by the second Covid-19 wave in France has prompted the government not to issue short-term visas.
The Indian women’s archery team is supposed to be one of India’s major medal prospects in the upcoming Olympics. After missing out on the World Cup Stage II, The trio of Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari were expected to make the cut to Tokyo in the final qualification event in Paris.
However, with the disaster caused by the second Covid-19 wave in the country, the French government has informed the Archery Association of India (AAI) that they are not issuing short term visas at the moment. Similarly, they have imposed a ban on travellers from India, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, and South Africa. This puts the Olympic dreams of the Indian women’s team hanging by a thread.
"The embassy has informed us about the French government's decision of not granting short-term visas to India at the moment. We are looking at various other ways to ensure the team has the chance to travel and participate there. These are unprecedented times but we are hopeful a solution will be found," said Pramod Chandurkar, the secretary of AAI.
So far, Deepika Kumari is the only female archer to have qualified for the Games. However, the federation is in touch with the IOA (Indian Olympic Association) and the Sports Ministry to work out together and come to a solution to get travel clearance for the archers. A letter has been sent to the World Archery regarding the same.