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Archery is an age old game. In earlier times, people used the skill of archery for hunting and protecting themselves. However, over the years, the art of archery transformed itself into a game that people play for recreational purposes. What is archery? Archery is a kind of game where a person uses a bow and an arrow to target and hit a particular object. The person who indulges in archery is known as an “archer” or a “bowman”. Though there is no evidence to prove it, it is generally believed that archery is perhaps the oldest sport of India.
The history of Archery goes back to very old times. Records of archery have been noted in as far back as Mesolithic age. All throughout the Stone Age, records of archery have been found. Not just that, but one can find mention of archery amongst so many different civilizations. The Egyptian culture, Indians, Chinese, Koreans, Persians, Parthian, Turks etc., all the cultures have records of people who excelled at archery and used it for various purposes. Thus, archery, though never a sport earlier, is one of those sports, the roots of which go very early back into the history.
Archery may have been a protection skill once. Nowadays, the skill has only been able to survive as a recreational activity. However, the game is quite popular across the world and this is precisely the reason why it was included even in the Olympics. The next question that would arise in anyone’s mind is- how is the game of archery played in the modern times? The truth of the matter is that all you need to play archery is a bow and an arrow. Apart from that, all you need to do is practice hard. Only a lot of practice can help you achieve good. There is a strict of rules defined by the International Archery Federation. The rules have been defined in five different books. Each book deals with a particular kind of archery like the outdoor target archery, indoor target archery, field archery, sky archery etc.
There are so many archers who have created a name and class for themselves in the game of archery. Charlotte Burgess is a British archer who started playing at quite a young age and made a name for herself in the world of archery at quite a young age. Simon Terry and Laurence Godfrey are also famous archers of our times. They have both been competing in archery for over a decade now. For any archery lover, Simon Terry, Laurence Godfrey, Marco Galiazzo, Natalia Valeeva etc. are names that are very famous and are also very commonly used.
According to the mythological stories of the Indian culture, archery has always been an integral part of the nation. Since times immemorial, kings and their men have used archery for hunting, bowing and protecting themselves. In India, the sports of archery, its tournaments, its development and even its rules are set by the Archery Association of India. Earlier, archers were basically people who belonged to backward communities and were largely illiterate. However, due to the efforts made by the Archery Association of India as well as due to alleviation in the status of the game, the archers have now started to come from all parts of the country. In the past, many Indian archers have achieved well and done greatly in so many tournaments.
Some of the Indian names much famous in the world of archery are- Limba Ram, Deepika Kumari, Jayant Talukdar etc. Lima Ram has represented India in many international archery tournaments. Lima Ram represented India thrice in the Olympics. Limba Ram also became the second person to achieve an international record (in the same category) during the Beijing Olympics. Limba Ram was also given the Arjuna Award in 1991. However, during the 1996, Lima Ram suffered injuries in his shoulders and hence, was never really able to play archery as well as he used to play before. Limba Ram is one of the finest archery players India has ever produced.
Deepika Prajapati is yet another famous Indian archer who represented India in the 2008 Olympics. Deepika is from Jharkand and is only 17 years old. She will also be representing India in the 2012 London Olympics. Deepika Prajapati hit the limelight when she won the two gold medals in the Commonwealth games of 2010; one for the individual archery event and the other one for the recurve event. Deepika Prajapati tasted her first success at the age of 15 when she won the 11th Youth World Archery Championship. After that, there has been no looking back for her.
Apart from these, there are many other names that are emerging in the field of archery and doing well to create a mark for themselves in future. Jayant Talukdar, Rahul Banerjee,Tarundeep Rai etc. are some of the names of the young archers who are making it big in the sports of archery. May be it has something to do with the Indian ancestry but India is emerging out as a centre for build up and rises of some of the best archer players in the country. The country is witnessing the emergence of talented archers and bowmen from all parts of the country. The hope is that even in times to come, India will provide the world with some of the best archers ever.
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