Kolkata: Calling for financial assistance for the London Olympics-bound archers, Indias chief coach Limba Ram on Saturday said he is hopeful of winning at least two medals in the July 27-August 12 mega sporting event.
Limba said the men's team of Tarundeep Rai, Jayanta Talukdar and Rahul Banerjee, who qualified for the Games under tremendous pressure in the final Olympic qualifiers, would need a boost in the build-up to the big event. "They have proved themselves after securing the berth in the last chance we got at the World Cup (stage III in Ogden). Now it's for the government to give them a boost... Especially Rahul Banerjee who went through real hardships to help the team qualify," Limba said.
Banerjee's bow case went missing in transit as he had to shoot with borrowed equipment at the final Olympic qualifiers. The team finished second in the qualifiers to secure the Olympic berth.
The national coach further called for an archery academy in the state with the city boasting top archers in the brother sister duo of Dola and Rahul. "The city is truly proud of some top archers like Dola and Rahul. Besides, we train throughout the year here (at SAI facilities). But for the sport to develop we need an archery academy," he said.
Asked about India's prospects in London, Limba said they have realistic medal hopes in Deepika Kumari and in the men's team event. "Looking at their form, we can expect at least two medals in archery. We will be leaving about 10-12 days in advance to acclimatise ourselves to the conditions in London."
West Bengal governor M K Narayanan earlier wished the team a successful campaign at the Games during the Olympic Day Run programme organised by the Bengal Olympic Association at the Kshudiram Anushilan Kendra.
Seventeen former Olympians, including hockey stalwarts Leslie Claudius, Keshav Dutt and Bir Bahadur Chetri of the state, were felicitated in the programme that began with a 3-km torch relay at the Ravindra Sarovar.