Friday, May 22, 2009

City archer aims at 2010 Commonwealth

HYDERABAD: Isaiah Sanam is a licensed pilot since 2007. But instead of flying the plane, Sanam is aiming to hit the bull’s eye as an archer. “My dream is to win a medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games at New Delhi. I have aborted my plans to become a commercial pilot temporarily so that I could concentrate in my favourite sport,” said the 32-year-old Sanam, who is hoping to compete in the compound event of archery at the sporting event.
Interestingly, he got inspired to become an archer by re-reading the stories of Robin Hood in 2003 in the US.
“He was my childhood hero. I was fascinated by his adventure in the forests with his bow and arrow. I then decided to take up archery and fell in love with the game. It is a sport where people may not enjoy it but as an archer, it is very gripping,” said Sanam, who managed to get the compound bow and arrows from a store despite his father’s reluctance as it was “considered dangerous.” For Sanam, what started as a whimsical event gradually developed into a fullfledged interest. On his return to India, he wanted himself to be enrolled in an academy to pursue his goal but what came as surprised to him was the lack og any archery academy in the city. However, his luck turned for good when he accidentally met a friend, who was a boxer training at Lal Bahadur Indoor Stadium. “I casually spoke about my love for archery to my friend, who immediately told me about a group of archers, who practise at the Lal Bahadur Stadium. He introduced me to coach Ravi Shankar. I think that was one of the happiest moment of my career,’’ he said.
According to Sanam, archery needs a lot of concentration, power and strength.
“It requires 100 per cent focus. There are many techniques involved in getting it right. It needs meticulous planning and hard work. An archer, like shooter, has to hit the Bull’s eye consistently. We have to look to the wind conditions which is sometimes very tricky,” said Sanan, who had outstanding performances in the National championship before making the international events.
His best achievements include a gold in the third Asian Grand Prix in Iran in the 70 m individual Olympic round gold and in the team championship silver in the same event, as well as a bronze in the Senior nationals.
Sanam has no regrets over the fact that Compound archery is not counted as an Olympic event. “I’m targeting a medal in the Commonwealth Games,’’ said Sanam, who is the top three in compound event in the country. “I’m in the probables list,” he notes with a smile.
Sanam is mighty thrilled that at last an archery academy has come up in the city, thanks to former international archer Arun Kumar, who has launched the Shooting Star Target Academy at Hitech city. “It has given me a chance to practice here. I can shoot the 70 metres distance otherwise I had to satisfy with my 10 metre range at my home. I hope this new academy unearths promising archers,” he says in his parting shot.
(N Jagannath Das)

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