A man in a wheelchair competing in archery

Resilience amidst challenges: bronze medal a testament to Sunaone’s unyielding determination

X0A5878 | June 15, 2024
Sunaone won bronze at Sol2023. Photos: Pacific Games News Service

Solomon Islands Para archery athlete Bobby Sunaone has found deep happiness since he started his archery journey in March of this year. And this journey culminated in a bronze medal at the Sol2023 Pacific Games on the third day of the archery competition.

In June 2023, Sunaone was selected to join the Solomon Islands Para archery team, giving him five months to prepare for the Pacific Games.

It’s been a fulfilling and joyous experience that turned his dream into reality, but not without its challenges.

During training, he primarily used recurve bows. However, as the Pacific Games approached, his team informed him that they would be using compound bows during the competition.

Despite being selected for the final line-up, Sunaone continued his training and competition with recurve bows. “We stuck to training with recurve bows until a week before the games began,” he revealed to the Pacific Games News Service.

Sunaone had only three days of practice with the compound bow in the lead-up to the competition. The fourth day was game time.

He secured bronze in the men’s compound on Wednesday, competing against two opponents from Tahiti.

Due to the small number of athletes contesting the event, medals were awarded but do not count towards the medal tally.

His achievement reflects his personality as a free-spirited individual with a can-do attitude.

He said: “Writing down my goals motivated me to achieve this. I’m grateful for my coach’s significant role and the challenges that shaped my vision. Now, as a Para athlete in archery, my dreams are clear, and I’m resolute in achieving them.”

For Sunaone, the sport is more than just a pastime – it’s a “focus sport”. In its embrace, he discovers a sanctuary where the harsh realities and challenges of his situation fade away.

Wrestling with the difficulties that accompany his life, Bobby finds solace and a respite from negativity within the world of sports.

Becoming a Para athlete wasn’t a smooth ride for Sunaone. Amid his burning passion to be an athlete, he faced transportation challenges in attending training twice a week to prepare for the Games. Experiencing a hiatus of three months, Sunaone faced a setback in his training, falling behind. Despite these hurdles, his determination shone through.

By Ezmie Oge, Pacific Games News Service

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