Wits’ Olympic hopeful, Nicholas Ho, failed to qualify for the London games, but still remains optimistic about representing South Africa in archery.
The first year BSc student said the demands of starting university had prevented him from competing in the African Archery Championships in Morocco in March. He needed to be ranked in the top 32 in that competition in order to qualify. He was writing exams at the time.
Ho had previously taken part in the qualifiers for the Singapore 2010 Summer Youth Olympics, but failed to qualify because he did not rank high enough.
“We competed in a series of head-to-head competitions, where two archers competed against each until one loses. I got eliminated in the first round though.”
Ho, who is currently ranked 57th in the national division, has represented South Africa three times: in Poland, Turkey and America. He still has a chance to compete in the 2016 Rio Olympics as he is part of South Africa’s junior archery training team.
Ho told Vuvuzela the training process for archers was quite intense. “An average shooting exercise consists of anywhere from 100 to 110 shots, but in a competitive environment I would shoot about 144 arrows for six to seven hours standing.”
Ho has competed in all sorts of weather conditions: “heat with temperatures of 40 degrees, rain and wind”.
Archery was a costly sport, he said. His bow cost R30 000, with individual arrows costing R300 each. “I am funded by my mom, but I do receive some funding from Archery South Africa and Wits Sports.”
Although archery was not a paying sport, he said he did it because he had a passion for it. “I have been playing since I was nine.”
Co-written with Jay Caboz
Published in Vuvuzela 17th edition, 27 July 2012