Fourteen-year-old archer Ritul Chatterjee, a trainee at the VMC-Volga Archery Academy, returned home triumphantly from the Asian Grand Prix championship that concluded at Bangkok recently by winning gold and a bronze medal in the team and Olympic round events.

Ritul bowed out in the individual event in the semi-final losing to his fellow Indian Chinna Raju by a narrow margin of two points. In the bronze medal event, he failed to beat an archer from Myanmar. “Unfortunately for Ritul, the telescopic lens riveted to the bow got broken. As he did not have a spare one, he failed to perform to his optimum,” said his coach Ch. Lenin on Monday.

Young Ritul is a serious contender for a place in the four-member Indian compound team that will participate in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games (CWG) to be held at New Delhi from October 15.

Youngest archer

“Ritul migrated from Varanasi in UP to Vijayawada three years ago and he is training at our academy. He is the youngest among the eight Indian archers vying for the slot in the Commonwealth Games team. He is performing well and the final trials to be held in the month of August will be crucial for him,” said Volga Archery Academy president Ch. Satyanarayana.

A hectic schedule awaits the archer before he takes a shot at the all-important CWG selection trials. He will be representing AP in the national sub-junior championship from March 24 to 28 and also participate in the senior archery championship at Guwahati from April 24 to 28. “In between, Ritul will take part in the trials to select the Indian team for the World Cup to be held at Ogden in the United States of America,” Mr.Lenin said.

Ritul's coach emphasised the importance of strong arms and shoulders for any archer to succeed in the international events.

“We are working on strengthening his arms and shoulders. On the equipment front, Ritul is playing with the world class bow on a par with any international archer,” Mr. Lenin explained.

Thanks to the initiative of the Vijayawada Municipal Corporation, the Volga archery field at Mahanadu Road in Vijayalakhmi Colony has become a hub of archery activities with many young boys and girls practising there regularly. “There is no hindrance here, unlike in the IGMC stadium. We have provided them in-house accommodation at the academy so that some of them can stay and practise,” said Mr. Satyanarayana.

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