Consistency is his forte

R. SHIVAJI RAO

Jignas Chittibomma has the potential and talent to compete with the best, writes J. R. Shridharan.

The 19-year-old archer, Jignas Chittibomma, has some moments to remember in 2013. The 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games silver medallist in the compound segment became the country’s No. 1 archer by finishing first in the Olympic round at the 33rd Senior Nationals held in Chennai. Then he won the second place in the National ranking championship, a selection tournament for the Indian team, at Hyderabad.

This Vijayawada sensation, now representing Services Sports Control Board (SSCB), is a serious contender for a berth in the Indian men’s compound team for the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Compound event will be introduced for the first time in the Asian Games.

Jignas, ranked No. 32 in the world, had a rough ride after his Chennai triumph.

He added new features to his bow and fixed a spiral cam to improve his performance. “It will take some time to adjust as I need to put more pressure on my arms and shoulders. That is the reason I fared badly in the Junior Nationals,” said Jignas.

Coach Richpal Singh, who knew Jignas from his sub-junior days, said the archer had silenced his critics with his performance at the national ranking event in Hyderabad. He garnered 150 points in the elimination round by punching the bull’s eye (10 points) in all his 15 attempts against Ritul Chatterjee of Andhra Pradesh. “This effort speaks volumes of his consistency.”

Richpal Singh felt that Jignas needed to improve his strength especially his upper-part and arms to withstand the rigours of modern archery. “He is a poor eater. He should eat quality food and train hard to stay fit.”

Mim Gurung, a recurve coach with ASI, agreed with Richpal Singh and advised Jignas to grow stronger to compete against world-class archers. “His mental ability and the strong foundation laid during his early years by the late Indian compound coach, Ch. Lenin, at Volga Archery Academy in Vijayawada gives him the edge over others. He has strong will-power and gauges the wind brilliantly. He has a positive attitude even when the chips are down.”

Gurung recollected a performance from Jignas during a trial for the Commonwealth Games when the archer went on to register 1401 points — a record in the compound segment. “Such a score from a sixteen-year-old is unbelievable.” All the coaches who spoke of Jignas have one observation in common — that is about his constituency. “He knows his job and goes about meticulously. He is peaking in a methodical manner,” felt Olympian Limba Ram.

Jignas started his career as a recurve archer. “Though Jignas was introduced to recurve, he was advised to move over to compound owing to his height. Jignas is short in stature and recurve is for archers with some height. They can set their vision better towards the target,” said Volga Archery Academy chairman Cherukuri Satyanarayana, who nurtured Jignas for seven years in Vijayawada.

Jignas, who has won many medals in World Cup and Asian Grand Prix tournaments, feels that the dearth of compound coaches is hampering his progress. The archers are left to correct their mistakes all by themselves. “We interact with pro staff shooters appointed by bow manufacturers. They help us in technical aspects.”