It's bullseye US for budding Kolhan archers

Teen trio make it to national team for world youth championship in South Dakota

By Jayesh Thaker
  • Published 14.04.15
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Prachi Singh practises at JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Monday. Picture by Bhola Prasad

Three teenaged archers from Kolhan are gearing up to hit the bullseye in the US.

Fifteen-year-old compound archer and emerging talent Shahenshah Biruily from Seraikela-Kharsawan and cadets of Tata Archery Academy Prachi Singh and Ankita Bhagat will take part in the World Archery Youth Championship at Yankton between June 8 and 14, having made it to the national squad on the basis of their performances in selection trials conducted by Archery Association of India (AAI) in New Delhi last week.

Around 600 competitors from 60 countries are expected to take part in the event. The tournament schedule includes an official practice round, three days of qualification and elimination and two-day final.

Shahenshah is relatively an experienced hand while his recurve counterparts Prachi and Ankita are greenhorns, who joined the cradle six months ago.

"Medal jitna hi lakshya hain. Nishana theek lag raha hain (Winning the medal is my aim. I am in good form)," 15-year-old Shahenshah told The Telegraph over phone from Sonipat (Haryana) where he is sweating it out at the national camp.

A cadet of the government-run cradle in Dugni, Shahenshah was also a part of the national outfit for the 2013 World Archery Youth Championship in Shanghai.

That he would go places became clear when he scored 358 points (out of 360) in the mini national championship in Vijayawada in 2009. The youngster slotted home four gold medals in individual 20m, 40m, 50m and 70m and also bagged the yellow metal in team event.

"Shahenshah is a hard-working boy, who seldom skips training sessions and even practises on his off days," said Dugni mentor B.S. Rao.

Sumanta Chandra Mohanty, secretary of Seraikela-Kharsawan District Archery Association, also lavished praises on Shahenshah. "I am confident that he will bag a medal in the US," he said over phone from Kharsawan.

Sixteen-year-old Prachifrom Jaipur was also brimming with confidence. "It is nice to be a part of the national squad. Will try my best," the Class XI student promised.