Inside the Bangkok Archery Centre with Witthaya Thamwong | Faster Higher Stronger
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Inside the Bangkok Archery Centre with Witthaya Thamwong | Faster Higher Stronger

August 11, 2019

Archery isn’t a duty. It’s what I do, what I love, what I choose to do. I felt really proud going to the Olympics. And I was impressed by London, which is such a beautiful city Also I was delighted. It was an honour to be able to represent Thailand at the Olympics. As the president, I only want the archers to win gold from high-level events like the Olympics. If we win gold, archery will become more well known. But earning gold medals is not easy. Having been to the Olympics once, I have learned that participating in big games is hard. But it is not too hard to achieve. I also want to attend the next Olympics in Rio to win. What I am practicing now is how to get there. For example, we train harder, involve sports science and prepare our minds better Tentatively, the athletes train six days a week. We train together in the morning. There’s a tough long run training, two days a week. Each day, we train from 8.30 am – 5.30pm, 8 – 9 hours a day. Bangkok Archery Center benefits us, together with other neighbouring countries in Asia… …and countries in Europe and America. Because when Asian countries train together at the center here, we exchange techniques, experiences and cultures. Besides training together, exchanging cultures is another way to build a friendship. Also when other countries train here, they see that Thai people are hospitable. We are all friends. I have seen an obvious improvement in the athletes in the past 3-4 years. Because there have been many archers from many countries, both from Asia, and Europe, training here. Our athletes have become enthusiastic. From being a sloppy archer, he sees that an archer training next to him has more potential and is more skilful and that he should aim higher so that brings about an improvement. From an ordinary athlete to a champion of ASEAN, Asia, and finally qualified for the Olympics A lot of athletes want to go to Olympics, I was one of those who made it. It was something wonderful, It was once in a lifetime Playing sports took me there. It was terrific. To be a good archer, it needs long-term practice. The readiness of his physical and mental fitness is also needed. Between physical and mental training, the physical training is easy. For mental fitness, we Thais, mostly, are Buddhists. We’ve known about meditation since we were young If we motivate the archers to see how important meditation is,we can improve them and keep them on track. Besides strong physical fitness, strong mental conditioning controls the archer. If it isn’t strong enough, he will not succeed. Building a close rapport, talking openly, seeing a common goal, and seeing what we need to achieve makes it easy to train. Lacking one of these will make us fail. It’s a passion for archery. So I have been dedicated to it constantly. I don’t get tired doing it. But if asked, do I feel discouraged, I do. But I keep fighting to do my best at archery. My aspiration is to make my parents happy to make them smile. So I try to do things and be a good man, a good athlete. When I win, I make them happy. Because doing this makes them happy, I want to keep doing it. For many decades, we hadn’t had a chance to join the Olympics… …or earn any medal from any games in Asia. The last three years have been our golden years We want it to happen repeatedly with more achievements. I think, Thailand will definitely develop to a higher level, to be about the same as the top level. We are developing ourselves making our way up. I personally think that it will be more competitive in the future because each country has started to show their progress. we ourselves have to as well.

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  1. As a non-Olympic archer and bow-enthusiast, I have yet to understand why Olympic archery includes the "flopping" (my word) of the bow after the shot. Every class I have ever taken insists that you keep your bow arm – with the bow in it – upright for a few seconds after you release your fingers, so as not to skew the shot should the aim change before the arrow is fully released. Is there an Olympic archer out there who knows the reason for the "flopping"?

  2. Sadly, Thailand treats its Olympic athletes as rare Nation Treasures. The archers are too elite and promoted themselves not the sport. The President of the Bangkok Archery Centre thinks his athletes must win "Gold" to make Archery popular. That is backward thinking and shows in the poor results of the National Archery Team. Thailand needs to grow a sport first and champions will arise naturally. Start by promoting Archery in schools and universities; though grants and donations of equipment. Host and participate in more public competitions and events. Stop making Archery for the elite few!

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