Harvinder, Chikara lead Indian challenge at Fazza World ranking tourney

Top archers Harvinder Singh and Vivek Chikara will lead India’s charge as Para Archery action returns with the seventh Fazza World Ranking Tournament — Dubai 2021 at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds here from Tuesday.

As many as 70 archers from 11 nations will compete in this year’s championships which will also mark the return of Para Archery action after a year. Dubai had hosted the last Para Archery Championships — the sixth Fazza Para Archery World Ranking tournament in February 2020 before the coronavirus pandemic struck the world suspending or cancelling all sporting events.

This year’s championships will have participation from Algeria, France, India, Iran, Kazakhstan Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Turkey, Ukraine and the hosts United Arab Emirates. Among the top names who will be in action this week are Iranian London 2012 Paralympic medallist Zahra Nemati, former world No. 1 in men’s compound open Marcel Pavlik from Slovakia besides several Tokyo 2020 qualifiers and former champions.

While Turkey who claimed seven medals last year are here with maximum 14 players, the hosts United Arab Emirates will field seven players.

From India, six players including two women will be in action in compound and recurve open events this week. Four of them including Harvinder and Chikara have already secured quotas for the country and will look forward to a good competition.

“After a long gap following the pandemic, the team is returning to competition. This is a very important competition for all of us. We have been training well at the National camp in Sonepat. My focus at the Championships is to get my old rhythm back. The Fazza Championships is the first championship to review our performance going ahead to the Paralympics,” Harvinder told the Paralympic Committee of India.

“I am confident that the team will return with good results,” he added.

“I am looking to analyse my technique at this Championships. My main aim is to perform my best in the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Currently I am training hard for the Paralympics,” said Chikara, also a recurve para archer and 2019 Asian Championships gold medallist.

The championships will be played over four days with the qualification rounds for recurve and compound open starting Tuesday.