In freak accident, archery coach suffers eye injury; may lose vision

In a freak accident, Indian junior national coach Ravi Verma has suffered a serious injury to his right eye while trying to fine tune an upcoming archer’s bow before the National Ranking Tournament (NRT) here on Saturday.

Coach Ravi Verma tries to explain a technical point to one of his archers. The bow stringer twists and the back of the arrow hits him below his right eye Uday Mohite

The freak accident happened after Verma, who hails from Patiala, got hit by the edge of an arrow while explaining a technical point to one of the archers preparing for the Youth Commonwealth Games in Samoa near Australia, when the bow stringer accidentally twisted and the backside of the arrow somehow shot back to hit him right below his right eye.

The twisting of the bow string was a result in of ‘misaligned pressure’ after Verma stretched it too far.

It must be mentioned here that Verma had been a five-time national champion and now has been coaching juniors for the last few years. The arrow hit Verma at such velocity that Verma was left breaking a number of bones around his eye and a severe concussion.

Archery Association of India’s (AAI) officials immediately rushed Verma to a private hospital near Yamuna Sports Complex here. Having seen his condition, the doctors of the private clinic rushed him to the Delhi’s premier AIIMS hospital, where he was operated upon on Sunday.

But the injury is of such serious nature that he may well lose the sight in his right eye.

“The doctors have told me that there is a possibility that my full vision may not be restored. I have a serious injury in my right eye, there’s blood accumulation there. It’s hard to see. I may not see again. The operation was successful but the doctors have told me to take a lot of precautions. Let’s see,” Verma told dna on Monday.

The paper has learnt that AAI president Vijay Kumar Malhotra personally spoke with some senior officials in the Health Ministry in order to help the coach. AIIMS, therefore, assigned two eye specialists to monitor Verma’s recovery.

“The injury was of serious nature. Thankfully, the operation went off well. We are expecting him to recover fully in a month. We will extend all possible help to him. It was an unfortunate accident,” AAI secretary Virendra Sachdeva said.

Recalling the fateful day when he suffered the career-threatening injury, Verma said: “I was training two boys for the Youth CWG. I was stretching the bow string when it twisted and I lost control of the arrow. It wasn’t a technical fault. It happened so quickly that the arrow hit me right below my right eye. After it hit me, I fell down in pain and don’t know what happened after that. When I woke up, I was in the hospital,” he said.