More than 450 archers including eight Olympians will compete in four categories in the first edition of the two-day Indian Open Indoor Archery Tournament starting Saturday at the Netaji Indoor Stadium here.
“The event is unique because an archery competition in an indoor environment will be held for the first time in India. This format is very popular in the western countries,” said veteran archer Dola Banerjee who along with archer brother Rahul has organised the event.
“The target is placed at a distance of 18 metres, whereas in outdoor archery targets are placed at a distance of 70 metres. Time taken to play in the indoor format is also much less than outdoor,” she added.
The eight Olympians who will be taking part are Deepika Kumari, Rahul Banerjee, Mangal Singh Champia, Atanu Das, Tarundeep Rai, L Bombayla Devi, Laxmirani Majhi and Jayanta Talukdar.
Among the compound archers, Asian Games team silver medallists Abhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan, Trisha Deb, Muskan Kirar and Madhumita Kumari will also take part.
“The format is the future of archery and it is emerging as a much more spectator friendly form. It is also very encouraging that eight Olympians are participating in the inaugural edition of the meet,” added Rahul, the first Indian archer to win gold at the Commonwealth Games in the individual recurve event in 2010 in New Delhi.
On the first day, there will be a qualification round where each archer will shoot 60 arrows. They will then move onto play the knock out round on Sunday. There will be a prize money for the top three archers in four categories. The four categories are Recurve Men and Women, Compund Men and Women.
Rahul said that world archery authorities have taken note of this meet and he is hopeful that a World Series Indoor Archery will be held in India in the next 1-2 years.
On the sidelines of the competition, there will also be a seminar organised by Korean archery equipment makers for the rookie archers.
This meet will also help Indian archers prepare for the Indoor Archery World Series.