Missed mark puts grade school teacher in world spotlight
Shirlyn Ligue usually turns to archery as a counterweight to the stress that being a grade school teacher brings.
“I just have to challenge myself,” Ligue said. “And in archery I get the mental training. It’s my stress reliever.”
But after a breakthrough finish in the Indoor Archery World Series online, the 30-year-old from Davao City may have found her true calling.
Last week, Ligue took the spotlight from her better known Philippine teammates when she grabbed a silver medal in the women’s bare bow category.
“I just wanted to place and bring honor to the country as well as my club Davao Archery Club,” said Ligue, who teaches Technology and Livelihood Education (mostly handicraft, cookery and dressmaking). “I wasn’t thinking of the record that much.”
But just before Iran’s Fatemeh Ghasempour collected 551 points to win the gold medal and obliterate the world record in the 60-arrow, 18-meter category, Ligue was on the cusp of setting the world standard.
She finished with 542 points, a tad short of the old record of 543 by American Claire Xie.
“So far [Ligue’s result was] the best [Filipino performance] for an indoor series,” said World Archery-Philippines secretary general Rosendo Sombrio. “Considering this is a World Series event.”
Sombrio said bare bow —a form of archery with far lesser frills than the popular compound and recurve—has gained traction in the Philippines already.
“It’s included in our program,” said Sombrio. “Bare bow is one of events in Philippine Archery Cup.”
Ligue, who is married to a fellow archery enthusiast Efren, said she only trained for two hours a day. “I feel I could have done better with longer training hours and proper regimen.”
Also, she didn’t need high-end equipment that archery has always been known for.
“Shirlyn proved that she can do it; she has the passion to succeed,” said her coach, Jonathan Josol. “In the competition, she used only the basic equipment, several of them second-hand and cheaply made in China.”
In bare bow, popular in Europe and in Indonesia and Malaysia, the bow is essentially bare except for an arrow rest and a plunger. “It’s archery in its purest form,” said Josol.
The online event required them to document their performances using the World Archery-specified application which are uploaded online.
“Before, you hardly see women in archery breaking 500 points,” said Josol. “And the important thing is that the word is out that a Filipino can win with just her talent.”
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