Each year in July, Mongolia holds its national competition of Nadaam, showcasing the three “Manly Sports” of horse racing, wrestling and archery. A mongolian foltktale tells of a woman who once slipped into the wrestling competition and humiliated the men by beating them all roundly. After that they changed the wrestling outfit to an openfronted vest (basically just two sleeves held together in the back) in order to ensure THAT wouldn’t happen again. Women are allowed to compete in archery however and the horses are ridden by children as young as five. Teenagers are considered too big and bulky for these open field, long distance races.
I can barely pull the string on the normal, non competition bow - no high tech carbon steel or super light weight frames here. I can’t begin to imagine how they did it, shooting while at a full gallop, but this was the weapon the nomads used to conquer two thirds of the known world. Besides the usual, they liked to shoot flaming ones and, for fun, arrows that whistled and howled, just to terrify their enemies.
Considering the bow is bigger than they are, the girls do quite well. David Evan is the one who turns out to be a natural and Tuya quickly graduates him to a much heavier bow like the ones used in competition. I prefer to think that he is a gifted athlete but his pose and costume sure look a lot like the hit man in the TV show Arrow.