Published: 14th August 2018
Three-year-old Chennai girl shoots 1111 arrows non-stop on Independence Day, in Guinness bid
The child is being trained under Shihan Hussaini, whose yen for crazy record attempts is well known. She will make the attempt on Independence Day. Will she succeed?
Getting tired of holding your shopping bag for too long? Or are you complaining about having to type for too long on your computer? Well, hold on to your whining till we tell you the story of three-year-old Sanjana Prem, who shot 1111 arrows non-stop. She is attempted the world record on the occasion of Independence Day and the video will now be sent to the Guinness Book of World Records.
Sanjana started shooting from 10 am this morning and shot 902 arrows nonstop for three hours before taking a break and then going on to shoot the rest in the next few minutes. We spoke to her parents and the coach a few hours before she set started her attempt -
Sanjana's parents say that when she was a baby there were two toys that she was particularly fond of, a stethoscope and a bow and arrow set. Since both her parents were working at the Rajiv Gandhi General Hospital she used to play with the stethoscope and would call herself "Doctor Sanjana". But when she got the bow and arrow as a present, she just wouldn't put it down.
"She would always be shooting arrows, even though she was only about two years old. She had good aim as well and this surprised us. We wouldn't even be able to take it away from her hands because she would refuse to stop playing with it," her father Prem Nath said. Her parents would also show her a lot of archery videos and found that she enjoyed them immensely. That is when the parents thought that maybe she would like to be trained in archery and started looking up coaching centres they could send her to.
Aiming Right: Shihan Hussaini designed a bow and arrow set just for the three-year old's practice
"We went to two or three places but they all scolded us for bringing a child so young. They said we should wait till she at least turns ten years old. But then we heard about Shihan Hussaini and we took her to him," the father said. At the age of two years and nine months, Shihan Hussaini decided to train the child in archery. Hussaini is the general secretary of the Archery Association of Tamil Nadu and comes from a family of archers himself. He started off at a young age too but was surprised to see a child as young as three be so good at the sport.
"I was initially a little apprehensive about taking in such a young child but was surprised to see how remarkable she is. She has mastered all the techniques and nuances of the sport. From the anchor to aim, to the way she releases the arrow. she has amazing talent and stamina. It was almost like she is a miracle," Hussaini said about the child. Hussaini echoes what Sanjana's parents say about her non-stop shooting too, "She never puts it down, we have to force her to stop and she gets upset when we do that too. One day she shot 36 arrows straight, the next time she did 100. Then she did 500 and I was wondering if she would go all the way to 1000. So I asked her if she could try just 300 more and even after that she wasn't tired. And on June 2, she reached the target of 1000 arrows."
Shoot-out - Her coach and parents say that they often have to force Sanjana to stop shooting because she doesn't tire easily
The coach, who has been in the news for decades for his daredevilry and his crazy record attempts, says even those competing in the Olympics shoot only 72 arrows at one go but Sanjana just refuses to stop. "That's when I decided to look up archery records and I didn't find any record that even came close to Sanjana's. So I discussed it with her parents and we decided to attempt this record," he said.
But does she not have any pain or other issues with her hands after three to four hours of continuous shooting? "She has never complained of any pain but we still take a lot of precautions. We follow all the conditions given to us by the coach to keep her safe from any possible injuries. She just seems to have great stamina and we hope that she continues to be safe while practicing the sport," her father said.
So on August 15, from 9 am onwards, the three-year-old will attempt to shoot 1111 arrows continuously at the MGR Janaki College Archery range, Adyar. "You have to be there to witness it," Hussaini says.