Robin Hood or William Tell?

Archery is what it says on the can. Literally in the case of Mongolian archery. Rather than shooting at a target, archers shoot at rows of red or brown baked bean cans, made of leather, called hasaa and standing two or three high. If any part of the row is hit the judges start chanting and throw their hands in the air like the flying geese in the wrestling, to indicate success. If the arrow misses they indicate with their hand the height it passed over the top.

Men and women take part, the women over 60 metres and the men 75 metres. It is not just a question of hitting the row of hasaas. A score is only recorded if any one hasaa moves at least 8cm. Not a easy as it looks.

Each competitor is given 40 shots. 20 are used to hit a row of 20 hasaas stacked three high. The next 20 chances are given to hitting 30 hasaas lined in two rows.


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