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Meet the modern day Robin Hood

other Updated: Aug 21, 2010 23:37 IST

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A British teenager inspired by Robin Hood, a skilled archer popular in British legend, has set a world record in archery by shooting an arrow nearly 500 metres.

Zak Crawford, 14, shot an arrow nearly 500 metres - equal to the length of five football pitches - using a recurve bow at the Northern Counties Flight Championships.

He also broke world records in the junior recurve and junior compound categories at the competition at RAF Church Fenton in Yorkshire, Daily Mail reported Saturday.

Zak said he was "over the moon" at winning the hat-trick of world records.

"I have been practicing really hard but I certainly didn't expect to come away from the competition with three world records, I'm over the moon," the youngster said.

"I managed to get the technique right on the day and I couldn't believe it when the arrows went so far," he said.

Zak, who enjoyed watching Robin Hood films as a child, took up archery at the age of six after trying it at a fair.

He became the youngest member of his local club and got into the county team at the age of seven and the East Midlands team two years later when he was just nine.

He started with target shooting but was later introduced to Flight Archery, which is based on the distance an arrow travels.

Flight Archery is the oldest type of archery which does not involve a target. It is also referred to as the Formula 1 of the sport.

Competitors have to shoot the arrows as far as they can and use a particular size and weight of bow and arrows that are specifically designed to fly for long periods in the air. They fire 24 arrows, then have an hour to find them. If they are broken, they do not count.

"When I first began I was the youngest in my club and I found it very difficult as I was quite small and the bow was heavy," said Zak, from Corby, Northants.

"But I really enjoyed archery and began training a lot so I soon got used to it," said Zak who undertakes extensive three-hour training at Welland Valley Archery Club every night, firing as many as 1,000 arrows each session.