Jai tar­gets Olympic goals

TEENAGE archer Jai Fran­cis has his sights set on the ul­ti­mate bulls­eye, hav­ing notched up a swag of medals af­ter two years in the sport.

Kalamunda Reporter - - Front Page - Lynn Gri­er­son

TEENAGE archer Jai Fran­cis has his eye on the ul­ti­mate bulls­eye hav­ing notched up a swag of medals af­ter two years in the game.

The bow­man from High Wy­combe wants to rep­re­sent his coun­try just as soon as com­pound archery be­comes an Olympic sport.

Un­til that time, he has other tar­gets in his sights as he strives to mas­ter an an­cient sport res­ur­rected in pop­u­lar­ity by films such as The Hunger Games and The Great Wall.

He will com­pete in the qual­i­fy­ing rounds for a place in the 2018 Aus­tralian Trans Tas­man Youth team later this month and in Novem­ber will pit his strength against the na­tion’s best in the Aus­tralian Na­tion­als at White­man Park.

Jai (13) said he tried many sports be­fore he found his niche.

“An aunt gave me a voucher to try archery on my 12th birth­day,” he said.

“Af­ter try­ing a com­pound bow, I was hooked.”

The La Salle Col­lege stu­dent won the state and na­tional in­door di­vi­sion in 2016 and set a new na­tional record for a cub.

He later qual­i­fied for the state team and won ev­ery event com­pe­ti­tions. Ear­lier this year, he won two gold medals in the 2017 Youth Na­tion­als and was awarded best all-round male com­pound archer at the end of the tour­na­ment.

Other re­cent wins in­clude gold in the state in­door com­pe­ti­tion and sil­ver in the na­tional in­door for 13 to 15 years olds.

Jai is cur­rently ranked num­ber one in Aus­tralia for in­ter­me­di­ate male com­pound archery in the clout event and num­ber two in field.

Hot on the heels of his medal run came a spon­sor­ship of­fer from a USA archery sup­plier on the look­out for emerg­ing tal­ent and a schol­ar­ship award from his school in Mid­dle Swan.

“I would love to see more peo­ple my age try out a sport that has changed my life,” he said.

“Archery re­quires the abil­ity to stay cool un­der pres­sure, a sharp fo­cus and stamina.”

Jai’s fa­ther Alan is fol­low­ing in his son’s footsteps af­ter leav­ing the spec­ta­tor seats to train with his son up to 11 hours a week, shoot­ing ar­rows up to 50 me­tres in the back­yard.

Mr Mor­ris said Jai was a nat­u­ral archer be­cause he had good hand-to-eye co­or­di­na­tion.

“In mod­ern archery, a com­pound bow uses a lev­er­ing sys­tem, usu­ally of ca­bles and pul­leys, to bend the limbs,” he said.

“The pul­ley-cam sys­tem gives the archer a me­chan­i­cal ad­van­tage and so the limbs of a com­pound bow are much stiffer than those of a re­curve bow or long­bow.”

Jai trains with Kala­munda Gov­er­nor Stir­ling Archers in Maida Vale and has bro­ken many club records. Most of the time Jai shoots in solo events, but he en­joys the ca­ma­raderie of com­pet­ing in match play teams of mixed abil­ity.

Picture: Bruce Hunt

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Above: Jai Fran­cis eyes up a bulls­eye. Be­low: Kat­niss from The Hunger Games

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