Two-year-old sets archery record
A two-year-old Indian girl has set a new national record in archery, according to the India Book of Records.
Dolly Shivani Cherukuri from Vijaywada in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh – who turns three next week – became the youngest Indian to score more than 200 points at a trial event on Tuesday, reports the Press Trust of India.
She fired 36 arrows at a target 5m away, then again at a target 7m away, making a total of 388 points.
Her achievement was witnessed by senior sports personalities and India Book of Records officials.
“We are all very proud of her. We are very impressed,” Archery Association of India official Gunjan Abrol told the BBC.
Dolly was conceived through surrogacy after the death of her brother, international archer and coach Cherukuri Lenin, in a road accident in 2010 reports said.
Her father, Cherukuri Satyanarayana, said she had been trained since birth to be a champion.
“When we came to know that the baby was on her way we decided to mould her as an archer,” news agency AFP quoted Mr Satyanarayana, who runs an archery academy in Vijaywada, as saying.
“The preparations started when she was in the womb itself,” he added.
Mr Satyanarayana said they had arrows specially made for the toddler out of carbon when she was first learning the sport to ensure they were light enough for her to carry.
Archery experts say children are trained on lighter bows and Mr Abrol says Dolly’s bow would also have been very light.
“You can’t put too much pressure on children, they can be trained for a maximum of two or three hours a day,” he said. “But Dolly comes from a family of archers so she’s capable of a lot.”
Photographs released by India Book of Records showed the toddler posing with her gold medal and certificate.
“My daughter achieved the feat we have been dreaming… I can’t express in words how happy my family is,” Mr Satyanarayana told PTI.
He said they would now try to get Dolly’s name entered into the Guinness Book of World Records.