No age limit on archery says 79-year-old Aleksander Kiskonen

At 79 years of age, Aleksander Kiskonen’s competitive archery career is still in full swing. The oldest of the 365 athletes that competed at the first World Archery Masters Championships in Lausanne in August 2018, he competed in two 60+ competitions and won the compound men’s 70+ indoor event.

“I came here because it was the first time in my life that I could compete with people who are almost the same age as me,” said Kiskonen.

“I feel I can compete with younger guys, no problem. On the field course, the 70+ guys were moving much faster up the hill than the other groups. We were running up there like squirrels. That was a good feeling. We are older, but we are faster.”

Aleksander is an active competitor at home. He’s travelled abroad a few times, too, but feels more comfortable travelling as part of the group of Estonians that attended Lausanne.

“I didn’t know many other archers would come, so I didn’t come for a particular medal. I wanted the experience, and especially on the field. Estonia is very flat, and I wanted to see what a real field course looked like,” he said.

“It was really good. All the elements were there.”

A metalworker by trade, retired since 15 years, Aleksander started archery in 1995 at the age of 55.

His story is familiar. He was lent a bow, shot for a couple of hours – and then, before he knew it, he was practising a couple of times each week, and that never stopped.

“I’ve done sport all my life: skiing, running. I was running every day until I was 67, and then shooting afterwards. If I wasn’t running I was doing 25k on rollerblades,” he said.

“I used to work in Finland and in winter I went cross-country skiing. That was my routine.”

Months from becoming an octogenarian, Aleksander’s active lifestyle shows no sign of slowing down. He’ll remain on the line as long as he can.

“The longer I shoot, I get trouble [with my eyes],” he said. “But there is no limit. Until I can’t see, I guess.”

The first World Archery Masters Championships took place on 14-18 August 2018 in Lausanne, Switzerland.