All archers train to shoot the perfect 10s in competition and irrespective of how many times they hit the bull’s eye in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics, the participants will get to hear a “10” every time they release an arrow at the Yumenoshima Park. For every archer, a perfect-10 is the most sought-after score. To win a medal one would have to shoot 60-70 per cent of their arrows into the 10-ring. But thanks to the Japanese language — in which ‘points’ is called as ‘ten’ — an archer’s score will always be suffixed by the ‘magical number’ and will be called out in the announcement after every arrow.
The archery announcers mostly skip the word ‘points’ when speaking in English but, in Japanese, the pronunciation of different numbers can sound very similar, making the suffix ‘ten’ almost compulsory in competition.
The number ’10’ in Japanese is known as “juu”, while “kyuu” is for nine and “hachi” is for eight. Confusing and funny it may sound, but it would be called out on the big announcement as “juu-ten” for 10, “kyuu-ten” for nine and “hachi-ten” for eight — the three most common scores in the recurve competition over the 70m range.
Indian archery coach Mim Bahadur Gurung, who will accompany the four-member archery contingent, laughed it off. “Every country will have a local language but it won’t make an iota of a difference to our archers,” Gurung, who is also the Army coach, told PTI from their base in Pune.
“There will be spotting screens to show the scores. With automatic electronic scoring, spotting screens and coaches with scopes standing just behind, it’s not going to confuse…
“Moreover, you always know when your arrow lands in the 10-ring. Hopefully, we will have a “juu-ten” with every arrow,” he added.
India will be competing in four of the five disciplines — men’s team, individual, women’s individual and mixed pair — and will aim to break their medal jinx at the Games. Deepika Kumari, who has returned to world number one ranking after her successive World Cup gold medal wins this year, will be the biggest medal hope.
Deepika is the only female archer to have qualified for the Tokyo Games in the individual event. The mixed team competition, debuting in Tokyo, will offer India the best medal prospect.
The eight-day archery competitions start on opening ceremony day — July 23 — with qualifying for all five events.
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