It’s a tweet that left the world’s No.1 archer bound for the Tokyo Olympics Deepika Kumari tense. Former Indian cricketer and BJP MP Gautam Gambhir on Wednesday posted a video of the Yamuna sports complex, essentially an archery facility, with a caption “…. East Delhi ready for Pro Cricket!
The sports arena hosted archery during the 2010 Commonwealth Games and has remained a training ground for many of India’s top archers. It has also hosted national archery championships and other international events.
Deepika, who was the top Indian archer at the 2010 CWG with gold medals in the individual and team events, was overwhelmed.
“I became Deepika on this field at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Please do not turn this archery field into a cricket field. It is one of the best archery grounds in Asia. International archery tournaments can take place here, ”tweeted Deepika, who last month won three gold medals at stage 3 of the World Cup in Paris.
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Gambhir, however, clarified that the facility would continue to be used for archery. “To set the record straight, the Yamuna Sports Ground has not been converted but only modernized. Archery and other sports will continue as before. Being an athlete myself, I will never let anything hinder the growth of an athlete! Gambhir wrote.
Virendra Sachdeva, member of the Indian Archery Association, said: “There is nothing new about other sports being practiced (at the complex). It’s just that the cricket facilities have been improved. We will continue to host archery events here. When there are no archery events, we will use it for other sports, ”said Sachdeva, also a member of the Delhi Archery Association.
“We have an agreement with the Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA). Archers will not be affected. Currently we do not have an archery camp. But nothing changes for the sport here.
Deepika welcomed the clarification, responding to Gambhir: “It’s very reassuring to know. This area means a lot to me. Thank you very much for understanding our emotions.
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Compound archer and Asian Games medalist Abhishek Verma from Delhi added: “Thank you @GautamGambhir Sir, as you have assured the archery stadium will not be affected, we are happy for your concern and hope archery grows with your blessing. ”
Lokesh Pal, Archery Coach at Yamuna Sports Complex, said: “We have no problem with the complex being upgraded and cricket facilities such as floodlights and the view screens are being modernized. Our only request is that his predominant archery feel does not go away. Now that Gambhir has said archery will not be affected, we are assured. Hopefully the best.
“About 25% of the area is used for archery practice by children in Delhi. The rest is for the archery competition. We saw the number of archers climb to 100 in training sessions before the pandemic. Now fewer children are showing up. We have not organized a national camp since the start of the pandemic last year.
“There are so many cricket grounds in Delhi. We hope that this complex will remain primarily an archery field.