I expected the Arjuna last year itself, says archer Rahul

July 22nd, 2011 - 6:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, July 22 (IANS) Commonwealth Games gold medal winning archer Rahul Banerjee
was happy to be recommended for the Arjuna Award but said he expected to get the honour last year itself.

“I am really very happy. In fact, I expected it last year itself but did not get it. But this time my performance has been rewarded. It feels great,” Rahul told IANS.

Rahul’s elder sister and former world champion archer Dola Banerjee had won the Arjuna in 2005. She is the first woman archer to get the award.

“Now we have two Arjuna awardees at home. It is special. My family has always been with me. They have been my support system, especially didi. She has been my inspiration and has always egged me to do better,” said Rahul.

Asked if the award will make the archery popular he said: “I am hopeful that the sport will become popular. Hope my recognition, too, plays a part. It needs to be popular. India of late has done reasonably well at the international level.

“To budding archers my advice is complete dedication. Do not wait for equipment. Just practise with whatever you have. Once you start doing well support will follow from somewhere.”

On his preparations for the upcoming London Olympics, he said: “I am keeping my fingers crossed. The only thing in my mind is to finish on the podium and I am really working very hard for that.”

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