APMG2018: Teressa clinch silver in women’s recurve

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Teressa Davis faced a medical condition called polymyositis which destroyed her back muscles and her muscles were dying. And the medication caused her poor vision on her right eye which is still blurry.

Despite her medical conditions, the 64-year-old American is competing in the Asia Pacific Masters Games 2018 archery competition at the SK Jalan Residensi in Penang. She clinched the silver medal in the women’s recurve category D event. She nailed a total score of 411 over three rounds of action.

Davis is in Penang with her coach Jeffrey Kok Chee Leong who will be competing in the men’s compound category C.

Jeffrey, who has been coaching Davis for the past two years, commented that this is the first time ever that she is shooting over a distance of 60 metres. Previously, Davis was shooting a distance of 18 metres only. Jeffrey, who is from China, runs an archery academy in Shenzhen, China.

He said: “When Teressa came to me with her medical condition, she would rest for two hours after shooting nine arrows. And I didn’t see her for a week.

“She came back after that and said she wanted to continue, so I coached her with therapy as well. We slowly built up her strength and I coached her step by step. As time went by, she could shoot continuously for more than an hour.”

“For this tournament, she trains two to three hours a day,” said the coach. “It is amazing how she shoots over 60 metres despite her poor back muscles.”

Davis attributes her new-found strength to her friends’ and family’s prayers.

“Even though my right eyesight feels like looking through a sunglass, my brain just wants to look through my left eye and gradually my whole body is healing.

“Jeffery is the best coach God has gifted to me. He doesn’t think so, but he is the best coach that could have taken me from where I was to whom I am today.”

“I didn’t have any back muscles; I couldn’t put my earrings on, couldn’t wash my hair, do laundries and wash dishes. My husband did everything from the cooking to the cleaning. I wake up in the morning exhausted. And throughout the day, I needed to conserve my energy. And I would just rest on the sofa because I had no energy to do anything else.”

“The first time I shot an arrow, it was a little 12-pound bow. I shot nine arrows and I could not go further. Jefferey told me he would get a special bow for me and will teach me how to shoot for an hour.

“He handed me a 10-pound bow, and he taught me how to knot the arrow and the bow so that I wouldn’t use up much energy. I shot arrows for almost an hour. Two years ago, I was able to train once a week and I gradually moved up to the 24-pounds bow which I am using now.”

Davis thanks archery for building up her strength and feels that people have much hidden potential then they realise.

“My energy has returned but not close to what I used to have before my muscle ailment. I can walk on a straight flat surface for 5 miles, though the grass is a struggle as I need my back muscles to lift my knees up.”

“I am so excited to be here in Malaysia. I never thought I could enter such competitions. Two years ago, I thought I would never get off the sofa. I thought I would be on the sofa for the rest of my life. Jefferey and my husband proved me that I could get off the sofa and I could come here and compete. And everyone else can do it.”

She concluded that the love and support from her family, friends and coach are the reasons why she is feeling great today and that she is truly grateful for it.

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