More than 250 archers from at least 33 Asian countries will be taking part as Dhaka is all set to host the country's biggest ever archery event, the Asian Archery Championship 2017, for the first time, which will be held at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka from Saturday till Thursday.
A total of 402 participants including male and female archers and officials from 35 countries enlisted their names for the tournament but Uzbekistan and the United Arab Emirates are yet to confirm their flight schedule while the rest of the teams are likely to arrive by Friday.
World Archery Asia's Korean secretary general Sung Ho-Um informed during the official press conference Thursday that the 20th edition of Asia's biggest event will see a record number of participants from all member countries of Archery Asia. He also added that three Olympic medalists from South Korea will also be taking part.
Korean archers are leading both the men's and women's recurve events in world ranking, followed by Chinese Taipei. They won all six medals in the recurve men's and women's individual events and two golds in the recurve team events in the last Asian Championship, held in Bangkok two years ago. Nine male and eight female archers from Korea will be coming to Dhaka while eight male and as many female archers from Taipei are also scheduled to partake.
European archers usually dominate the compound events in the world stage but in Asia, Indian archers lead the compound events while Korea, Taipei and Iran also have strong presence. India won gold in the men's and women's individual compound event and the men's compound team event in the previous edition while Korea won the compound men's and mixed gold medal. Twenty two archers from India are likely to participate in the tournament.
Eight international judges, including Tanvir Ahmed of Bangladesh, and nine continental judges, including Faruque Dhali and Mahmudul Hasan Khan from Bangladesh, will conduct the matches led by chief judge Hoong Mau Sui-Frankie of Singapore.
The BNS will host all the matches. The archery federation initially requested the National Sports Council for the allotment of venue from November 21 but due to the football federation's Bangladesh Premier League fixtures, they got the venue for only seven days starting from Saturday. Maulana Bhasani National Hockey Stadium in Dhaka is the main practice venue. Mongolia were the first team to arrive in the capital Saturday while Kuwait arrived Monday and both the teams have been practising at Shahid Ahsan Ullah Master Stadium in Tongi.
Dhaka will also host the World Archery Asia Congress for the first time Friday where the election will also be held to decide the new executive committee for the next four years. Five Bangladesh Archery Federation officials will be contesting the election, including its general secretary, Kazi Razib Uddin Ahmed Chapal for the vice president post.