All of 19 years old,Jignas Chittibomma is already a Naib Subedar,a junior commissioned officer (JCO),in the Army and is technically eligible for salutes from the non-commissioned ranks. To reach his rank,a jawan normally takes about 23 years of military service. But he made it at this young age,thanks to his exceptional performance in Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2010,in which he bagged a medal in archery.
In Junior World Championship that concluded last month in Wuxi,China,he won three bronze medals. His seniors say he is arguably the youngest JCO in the Army and is among the ones being trained by the Army Sports Institute for 2016 Olympics.
Born in Vijaywada in Andhra Pradesh,Chittibomma is son of an irrigation engineer in Andhra Pradesh. He joined the Boys Sports Company (BSC) of the ASI in the city in 2009 at the age of 15. He was given the rank of a Naib Subedar when he was over 17 years.
I was always interested in archery since childhood and was told to enroll at the ASI, said Chittibomma who specialises in compound archery,a rather complex form of archery against the established recurve archery which is included in Olympics,his seniors at ASI said.
What makes his medal haul in China a commendable achievement si the fact that just four months prior to the competition Chittibomma had met with an accident during training and fractured his arm. I won three bronze medals,one each in team,mixed and individual categories, he said.
Now a part of the 30-member archery team at ASI,Chittibomma and his seniors at ASI hope that he will make it to Olympics 2016. But for his dream to materialise,his sport,compound archery,needs to make it to the Olympics. Compound archery is not included in Olympics as of now. The eventis likely to get introduced in Asian Games in 2014 and I hope it gets approved for Olympics We are told that efforts are on to include the form in Olympics, he added.