JAMSHEDPUR: A modern day Ekalavya story looks to be taking shape, but unlike the legendary mythological archer, 17-year-old Gora Ho will not have to part with his thumb.
Part of the gold-medal winning team at the Asia Cup Stage I archery meet at Bangkok, Gora partnered Akash and Gaurav Lambe to beat Mongolia to the top spot in the recurve event on Thursday.
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A tribal from Balijhudi village in Rajnagar, the wiry Gora is considered something of a prodigy with the bow and arrow. With more than 100 medals in sub-junior and junior events at the state and national levels, he has swiftly become the state’s brightest talent in a short span of six years, earning the sobriquet, Golden Boy. The next natural step is the Tokyo Olympics in 2020, says everyone who has seen him in action.
“This boy is Olympic material,” says B Srinivas Rao, his coach at Dugni Archery Academy in Seraikela. “His natural talent needs to be honed through focused training under the guidance of a recognized foreign coach,” adds Rao.
Sensing they had a special talent in their midst, the state government awarded him a special bow that cost Rs 2.70 lakh last year. But still things are not easy, making the Gora Ho story a unique underdog one. Archery, the Ho family hopes, will provide the vehicle out of poverty and misery.
Hailing from a poor family of farmers, Gora is the youngest of four siblings. His father, the 50-year-old Khaireu Ho has been confined to the bed for the last two years following a paralytic attack. Gora had lost his mother Chameni in 2016 and his three elder brothers look after him.
“Even as a little boy, he showed a remarkable talent for archery,” remembers brother Prem Shankar, “He has the capacity of doing the country proud in more international competitions. He needs the proper guidance.”
As a child, Gora began his training at the Arjuna Archery Academy in Kharswan where he was spotted by Rao, who moved him to the Dugni Academy in Seraikela.
In 2014, barely 13, Gora earned recognition after winning three gold medals at the National School Games in Ranchi and a year later, showed he was no flash in the pan with 10 more medals at the Jharkhand Archery Championships. The same year, he received the National Child Award from then President Pranab Mukherjee and a local legend took flight.
Upbeat after the Bangkok performance, Gora is preparing for the trials to be part of India’s team for the upcoming World Cup championship in Shanghai from April 23.
Currently, Gora is enlisted as a cadet at Army Boys Club in Pune but keeps shuttling to the Steel City for his sport. “Support from my teammates and hard work helped me perform well at my first international outing,” he said on his return from Bangkok on Friday. “I wish to keep this dream alive and shoot for India at the 2020 Olympic Games.”
Source : timesofindia