Till three years ago, 32-year-old Isiah Rajendra Sanam did not know he would be an archer and become the first Indian man to win an Asian Championship gold medal. He was chasing a career in flying but archery caught his fancy once he came back from the United States after completing his studies there.
Sanam won gold at the recently concluded 16th Asian Archery Championships compound bow section in Bali, Indonesia, defeating local talent Nyoman Puruhito. This was India's second individual gold in the history of the competition; the earlier was won by Jhano Hansda in women's compound bow section in New Delhi four years ago.
Sanam took to competitive archery after seeing the facilities at the Andhra Sports School in Hyderabad.
“I had a bow during my stay in the U.S. But that was for game hunting. It's obviously not allowed in India and after coming here I began shooting at targets. I had to wait for over a year to get my archery equipment from the U.S. But even then I never thought I would shoot in competitions. It was for fun,” Sanam said.