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11-year-old boy from Utah is becoming well-known in national archery contests



Sandy, Utah — An 11-year-old Sandy resident is becoming more and more accomplished as an archer and has greater aspirations.

About three and a half years ago, Anirudh Kalyan Pinjala began to practice archery.

“My mom took me here, and then I first tried shooting a bow and arrow. I liked it, and then I kept on doing it,” said Pinjala.

“When he first shot, he was like this, just can’t ever hold the bow. He’s so tiny, the bow is so big,” recalled his mom, Kalyani Yerra.

He currently practices tirelessly for two hours, three or four days a week, at the Datus Archery Club in West Jordan. He is eleven years old.

“It’s so competitive; it’s getting competitive over the years. And right now, I’m the state champion because I’m the best shooter in my division so far,” said Pinjala.

His numerous medals from wins in local, regional, and national archery tournaments serve as proof. Pinjala placed second in his class in the Vegas Shoot archery tournament, which attracts competitors from all over the world, in early February.

“It has a lot of intensity,” explained Pinjala. “Olympic shooters are coming, world champions are coming, and I got to see them and got signatures from them.”

Pinjala has won a medal at Vegas Shoot twice before. In 2023, he finished in second place also.

“I see him spend a lot of time focusing, and getting that emotional stability as well. When you shoot a bad arrow, you get emotionally sad and that’s a growth opportunity for him,” added Yerra.

However, Pinjala is more than just a bow and arrow sport.

“It kind of feels like, wow, because Utah — America — and India, where my parents are from, so technically I’m representing two countries,” he said.

He’s got his sights set on some larger targets in addition to the ones on the wall.

“I really want to do well and become a two-time Olympic gold champion in a row, because no one has ever done that before,” he said.


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