By Tapan Mohanta Kolkata, Sep 17 (PTI) The Indian archers run the risk of competing under a neutral World Archery (WA) banner if the de-recognised national federation of the country(AAI) fails to set its house in order soon, international body’s secretary general Tom Dielen has warned. Dielen said they were against punishing the archers but described the ongoing deadlock in AAI as a concern ahead of the upcoming Olympic qualification tournaments. The 2019 World Archery Championships, slated in June next year, will offer 24 berths to the top eight teams in both men’s and women’s sections, while there will also be continental qualification tournament next year. “The current status quo cannot continue indefinitely. At a certain moment we might have to decide that the athletes participate under a neutral World Archery banner. The matter of main concern is the upcoming Olympic qualification tournaments,” the 50-year-old archer-turned-sports administrator told PTI in an interview from World Archery headquarters in Lausanne. He further said the world body has been working towards having a functioning, recognised member association in India for quite some time. “At this stage, we’re are still enthusiastic that a resolution can be reached but this must happen soon. It’s our primary objective,” Dielen said. “If it does not happen, then further steps will be taken. But those steps will not be designed to punish athletes. However, it is a constitutional requirement that a well-governed member association is in place within a country,” the secretary general said. AAI was de-recognised by the Government of India in December 2012 forviolating the Sports Code.advertisement Last year in August, the Delhi High Court appointed former chief election commissioner S Y Quraishi as the administrator to get the constitution drafted and hold fresh elections but nothing has been done yet. India has not hosted any major archery competition and there were reports that the continental Olympic qualifiers — the 2019 Asian Archery Championship — which was slated in New Delhi has been shifted to Bangkok. Without commenting on the reports, the World Archery secretary general said they would like India to host premier tournaments of the calendar like the World Cup Final. “But that requires a functioning national governing body to be a reality,” Dielen said. Terming India a key market for the sport, he said: “It would be great to have an event, like the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, in the country. Before that can happen, we need to make sure the proper governance is in place within the country.” The situation is so grave that it has impacted the performances of Indian archers, especially in the recurve section which has been on a decline since their stupendous show at the New Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010. “Issues that impact the team organisation cannot be beneficial for the athletes,” Dielen said as India are still in the pursuit of a first-ever Olympic medal. “It is only a matter of time until India wins an Olympic archery medal. Winning an Olympic medal in archery is not easy, but Indian athletes are talented enough to achieve a podium finish. It is simply a case of performing at the right time.” He further cited the example of Mexico, who won their first Olympic archery medal in London 2012 with a silver and bronze in the women’s event. “Countries like France and Germany, which have close to 80,000 competitive archers each, have won three medals at the Olympics each. It is not that easy and it is not an exact science,” Dielen said. “Whenever a country wins an Olympic medal we see large increase in the popularity of archery. So, getting an Olympic podium would be very beneficial for archery in India. “However, to fully take advantage of such an opportunity, the country needs a functioning, independent archery association,” he reiterated. There’s no dearth of talent in India, he said, hailing four-time World Cup Final silver medallist Deepika Kumari, who will compete in the meet for an incredible seventh time. “Archery is a sport of millimetres and winning at every single event is unrealistic. India has consistently produced podium finishers, but perhaps needs just another few millimetres at the right time to collect even more impressive results,” Dielen said. Compound archery is still to find a place in the Olympics, but Dielen pointed out that by making its entry in the Pan American Games, Asian Games and European Games as well as the World Games, the discipline has made significant progress. “It’s a huge step forward. There is no definitive timeline for inclusion in the Olympics. But World Archery has been continuously working to improve the competitive level, and promote the discipline to make it a more attractive proposition,” he signed off. PTI TAP SSCSSCadvertisement
Seven stories in the news for Thursday, June 1———WETTLAUFER EXPECTED TO PLEAD GUILTY TODAYA former Ontario nurse accused of killing eight seniors in her care is expected to plead guilty to first-degree murder at a court appearance today. Elizabeth Wettlaufer faces a total of 14 charges, including eight of first-degree murder, four of attempted murder and two of aggravated assault. Police have alleged her crimes involved the use of certain drugs and took place over the last decade in three Ontario long-term care facilities and a private home.———BACKLOG THREATENS SEX TOURISM CRACKDOWNInternal government notes warn that a file-processing backlog at the RCMP could significantly limit the effectiveness of new measures to track Canadians who travel abroad to sexually abuse children. Amendments that took effect Dec. 1 authorize the Mounties to share information about high-risk child sex offenders with the Canada Border Services Agency, but police must first assess thousands of files in the national sex offender registry to determine which ones fall into the high-risk category. Public Safety notes obtained under the Access to Information Act say it’s a task that’s far from done.———AIR POLLUTION COSTS CANADA BILLIONSA new research report says air pollution cost Canadian families an estimated $36 billion in 2015 due to premature death and illness. The report is a compilation of scientific data on all aspects of pollution, from smog to oil spills and fertilizer use. It is being released today by the International Institute for Sustainable Development.———PARENTS URGED TO LIMIT SCREEN TIME FOR YOUNG KIDSThe Canadian Paediatric Society has released its first stand-alone recommendations for how much time children aged five and under should spend in front of a screen. The society is standing by its past statement that kids younger than two years old should completely avoid screen time, and recommending those between two and five should have no more than an hour of screen time per day.———SOFTWOOD AID PACKAGE EXPECTED TODAYNatural Resources Minister Jim Carr is set to unveil about $1 billion in financial supports for softwood lumber producers and their employees. Cabinet discussed the options for a package May 9, but the federal government wanted more input from the provinces via the special working group Carr established in February. A government source confirms Carr will unveil the details today in Ottawa, along with Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland.———VERDICT TODAY IN ONTARIO MALL COLLAPSE CASEA discredited former engineer who signed off on the health of a northern Ontario mall just weeks before it collapsed in June 2012 finds out today if he bears any criminal responsibility for the two women who died in the disaster. Robert Wood of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., has pleaded not guilty to two counts of criminal negligence causing death and a third count of criminal negligence causing bodily harm. The maximum sentence for criminal negligence causing death is life in prison.———STARBUCKS LAUNCHES ALCOHOL MENU IN VANCOUVERStarbucks Canada will begin serving beer and wine today in Vancouver, a year after launching its bar menu at a few locations in Toronto and Ottawa. It’s part of a push by the coffee giant to attract more customers in the late afternoon and evening, rather than just be a stopover for a morning coffee. The company says customers at its newly opened store in Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood will be able to choose from six types of wine, two brands of beer and a cider.———ALSO IN THE NEWS TODAY:— The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls wraps up its first community hearings in Whitehorse.— The Bank of Canada holds events across the country to mark the entry into circulation of the Canada 150 commemorative $10 bank note— Mayors from 22 of Canada’s biggest cities gather in Ottawa.— Derek Hurrell appears in court in Saskatoon on a charge of uttering online threats against Prime Minister Justin Trudeau— Statistics Canada releases figures on changes in parents’ participation in domestic tasks and care for children from 1986 to 2015.— Heritage Minister Melanie Joly unveils Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa.— A provincial byelection is held in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., for a seat left empty when former Liberal cabinet minister David Orazietti stepped down on Dec. 31.— Grammy- and Juno Award-winning singer k.d. lang helps announce details in Calgary of a musical instrument lending library program in celebration of Canada 150.