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Posted at: Jul 23, 2016, 2:28 AM; last updated: Jul 23, 2016, 2:28 AM (IST)

Para archer Pooja left in the lurch

Para archer Pooja left in the lurch
Para archer Pooja. A Tribune photograph

Gagan K. Teja

Tribune News Service

Patiala, July 22

Para archer Pooja will have to compete at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio without her coach Sanjay Suhag.

The Paralympic Committee of Haryana has not recommended the name of Pooja’s coach to the Paralympic Committee of India as it is difficult to send a personal trainer with all the para athletes.

Haryana para archer Pooja, 26, cannot even string the bow on her own. The decision would seriously affect her prospects. There are other physical constraints also and in the absence of a coach she will be helpless. 

Pooja recently won a gold medal in the Senior Para National Archery Championship. She also won the fifth place in the World Quota Recurve Women Open in Czech Republic to secure a continental quota. 

Pooja said, “Right from stringing the bow, to checking my equipment and scoring on my behalf. Someone who is aware of the technicalities can only manage it. No other official will be helpful to me. I hope the committee understands my point and allows my coach to accompany me,” she rued.

Paralympic Committee of Haryana secretary Giriraj Singh said, “A total of 17 players are going and according to the rules the number of officials can not exceed 60 per cent (11). There are other athletes who are more paralysed than Pooja and we cannot ignore them too.”

Pooja comes from a very humble background and her journey to Rio has not been easy. She did her education from a government school in Rohtak and completed her Masters in Library Sciences from Baba Mastnath University in Rohtak. The eldest of the four siblings, Pooja wanted to do something for her family as it was very difficult for them to arrange for three meals a day.


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