Archery is one sport where India will fancy their chances to win gold in the Tokyo Olympics. As many as four Indian athletes have already qualified for the mega event. However, the Indian women’s team, a very strong contender for the medal are yet to qualify.
The trio of Deepika Kumari, Ankita Bhakat and Komalika Bari had an opportunity to qualify for the Olympics as they were set to take part in the upcoming World Cup Stage 2, in Lausanne, in Switzerland. However, the Swizz Embassy rejected their visa requests owing to the ban imposed by the European countries for travellers from India.
“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.
The squad will have one final opportunity to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics during the World Cup stage 3 in Paris in June. The Archery Association of India (AAI) is hopeful that the situation will ease and the travel ban imposed on the Indian travellers will be uplifted by then.
“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.