WHAT Shemariah Ali has achieved in the sport of archery over the past five years are what dreams are made of.
No stranger to setting the bar in local women’s archery, in 2016, at the National Outdoor events, she accomplished the double for the first time, winning both the National Outdoor Youth Championships in the cadet division and the National Open, posting national records in both tournaments.
In 2017, she went on to repeat this feat and this time destroyed one of the oldest records on the books over the Olympic distance of 70m, moving the senior national women’s record from 542 to 573 at the National Outdoor Open Championships.
Ali, a 15-year-old St Joseph’s Convent Port of Spain student, was happy with her record-breaking performance as she threatened to break the record before.
“The record in the National Outdoor Open was very special as I had been buzzing around it for many tournaments over a two-year period,” Ali said.
At the 2018 National Indoor Youth Championship and National Open Indoor Championship over the weekend of February 24 and 25, held at the Central Indoor Sporting Complex in Chaguanas, history was created by Ali. She became the youngest archer, man or woman, to complete the double by winning both competitions.
Coming into the 2018 championships, a national indoor title was the one title that had eluded her.
Describing her achievement in the indoor tournament Ali said, “Coming into this tournament I had never won a national indoor tournament. I had been chasing an indoor title for five years. This year it all came together.”
After the main tournament on February 24, Ali teamed up with Amaara Beharry and Bryanna Ramlakhan to form a national women’s junior team which would post a national record of 203 for the MICA (Multi-sites Indoor Archery Championships of the Americas) shoot. The MICA is an indoor competition among the countries of the Americas, which earned TT a bronze medal.
But indoors aside, at the recently held National Ranking Tournament on Sunday she would once again create history. Ali became the first locally trained cadet to cross the 600 mark at 60m when she rewrote the record books with a score of 608 surpassing her previous mark of 599.
“The 600 is very special. It has been a stated goal since December 2016. I have done it many times in practice, but it really only counts at tournaments. With the absence of international exposure one has to find ways of challenging oneself,” Ali said.
In the short term, Ali is looking forward to the National Championships in August, but has goals of competing in major international meets such as the 2019 Pan American Games and at the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.