At an age when most children prefer to play with toys, two-year old Dolly Shivani Cherukuri is already breaking national records. On Tuesday, the kindergartner became the youngest person in India to score more than 200 points at an archery event. Representatives from the India Book of Records were on the scene to witness the tiny wunderkind kick ass.
The young prodigy, who is weeks from turning three, showed she’s no one to mess with. Cherukuri fired 36 arrows at a target 5m away, then again at a target 7m away, scoring a total of 388 points, above and beyond the standard, which means she’ll probably get to keep her name in the record books for a very long time.
Cherukuri comes from a family of archers—her father, Cherukuri Satyanarayana, operates an archery academy and says she had been trained since before birth to be a champion. In fact, she was born via surrogacy and groomed to be an archer after the tragic death of her older sibling, Cherukuri Lenin, an international archer and coach.
When we came to know that the baby was on her way we decided to mould her as an archer,” Satyanarayana, told the AFP. “The preparations started when she was in the womb itself.”
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.”
India may boast a strong record of success in archery but this story still amazes. Is two or three years old too young to be groomed as a champion?