Limba — the trail blazer

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Indian archery caught the imagination of the public after Limba Ram, a tribal from Rajasthan, equalled the 30m world record at the Beijing Asian championships. This was in 1992 and naturally expectations were high of Limba being a potential medal winner in the Barcelona Games that year.

However, going into his second Olympics — Limba had participated in Seoul 1988 — the Indian was unlucky as he was tied for the eighth spot after the ranking round in the 70m event. His opponent had a scorecard of more tens than Limba and the latter was sadly knocked out.

But beyond the Games, Limba was a consistent performer at the Worlds, World Cups and other major events, winning medals for the country before he was forced to quit due to injury soon after the Atlanta Games in 1996.

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Inspiring story

Yet, the inspiring story of how he came to the fore as a 15-year-old and continued to hold attention at the national level only speaks volumes of this trail-blazer.

Of course, the current crop of the Indian archers too have gained a lot from Limba, who was the chief coach of the National teams, both in London 2012 and Rio 2016.

They certainly owe a great showing to their master, who strove hard from virtual poverty before emerging as one of the best-known Indian archers.

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