Bengaluru: The Archery Association of India (AAI) on Sunday selected Atanu Das to represent the country in the men’s recurve event at the Rio Olympics after conducting trials here.
Das will be the only Indian representative in the men’s category at the Rio Games, to be held in August. It will be Das’s first Olympics.During the trial, the 24-year-old Kolkata lad edged out the experienced former Olympian duo of Jayanta Talukdar and Mangal Singh Champia to qualify for his maiden Olympic Games. Having made the World Cup stage three semis at the Antalya, Das (653) had a bonus points of 1.5 and he qualified behind Talukdar (659) and Champia (649).
Later in the knockout rounds he defeated both Talukdar and out-of-form Champia.It was unfortunate that Champia could not make it to Rio as he had earned the quota for India by finishing among the top eight at the World Archery Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark last year.
The women’s recurve team of Deepika Kumari, L Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Manjhi has already qualified for the individual as well as team event in Rio. However, Indian men’s team failed to qualify in the final Olympic qualification.
The four-member Rio-bound team will now camp here till it leaves for the Games.Das had recently won a silver with Deepika Kumari in the mixed category at the Archery World Cup in Antalya. He had also finished fourth in the individual recurve event at the same event.
Das had earlier bagged two team silver medals (Wroclaw and Medellin, 2014) and two mixed pair bronze medals (Medellin 2013 and 2014) in the World Cups.