Hawkeye had better watch out if he wants to keep his spot as the archery star on the Avengers' team. With two new Hong Kong archery records to his name, 16-year-old La Salle College student Ugo So Chun-ngai may be next in line for the superhero's spot.
Ugo scored big at the Inter-school Archery Competition at Wong Chuk Hang Sports Centre on May 13. Shooting against competitors from secondary schools in the Kowloon and Hong Kong Island Division, Ugo set records with his two scores - 285 points is the youth record for 18-metre indoor recurve in the junior men's individual category for ages 17-18, and with 573 points, he earned the record for Hong Kong indoor recurve cadet men.
Ugo began practising archery in Form One five years ago.
But even with all his training, he felt the pressure of the competition. For him, the biggest threat when he competes isn't another team or a rival school; it's himself. "I always remind myself that I need to improve with every single tournament," he says. He admits he's more critical of his performance than his coaches or teammates.
This competition was no different. "I learned to deal with the pressure I put on myself by training for five consecutive days before the tournament," he said.
But even top athletes get nervous when it comes time to compete. "I've always felt more pressure when I enter the stadium," Ugo confesses. "The surroundings seemed new, even though they were actually familiar to me."
This year, the La Salle College team felt the pressure together. They missed the overall title last year by only six points and were determined to regain it. Ugo says everyone was under enormous pressure. "The feeling grew stronger and stronger during our last week of training," he says. "Losing last year made us even more focused than ever."
And Ugo feels that his personal achievements in the competition came down to that sense of team spirit and working together, as La Salle beat Diocesan Boys' School for the team title. "Together with the collaboration of all the team members, we did it," Ugo says.
What is your greatest personal achievement in archery?
I'd say it's been the chance to compete the World Youth Championship twice (in 2013 and 2015).
What song or movie title best describes you when you're competing?
Fast and Furious would best describe my feelings during the competition. In the movie, the characters used their powerful cars to get what they want. For me, during a competition, I need support from my teammates. You might say that it's communication that helps me achieve great results.
If you could have any superpower for 24 hours, which one would you choose and how would you use it?
I would choose the superpower of aiming - the "thousand-mile eyes" as in the Chinese folk tales. Ever since I started my path in archery, my aim has been one of the issues I've been most concerned about. This superpower would definitely help me succeed further.
If you could have an unlimited supply of anything, what would it be?
Since I simply love archery so much, I would choose to have an unlimited supply of archery equipment, such as bow and arrows. Archery is probably one of the most expensive sports, and the lack of good equipment has indirectly hindered the development of archery in the youth sector.