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Wednesday, August 19th 2009

Program in Saignes

08:15 - 09:00 warming-up

09:30 calling of the groups

10:00 start of the 2nd qualification round - known distances

16:00 return of groups


EC France LogoImpression of the day:

The second day of the qualification of the EC 2009 in Champagnac, France, was even hotter than the first qualification day. It is a good thing the hardest course (the yellow course) also provided the most amount of shade today. I was wearing one of those cooling scarf's today and got a couple of envious looks. There are special crystals in it that absorb water. When worn, the water slowly evaporates from it producing a cooling effect. I should have brought more of those to the field to sell them to support our trip to France. Making pictures was hard, but I cannot imagine drawing a bow and aiming properly without being affected by this heat. And the temperature might also affect bows more than the archers are accustomed to. Yesterday, Morgan Lundin wanted to change bows since his arrows did not hit the middle and he could not explain why. After the Swedish team captain rushed in with his spare bow, he shot the rest of the match with it. He was on a roll today and was sort of overtaking on the right hand side of the road: he went with 404 today from place 16 after day one to place 4 after day two. And German archer Silcke Höttecke started okay today, and then all of a sudden her arrows were all over the place. The team captain rushed in with a spare bow, but after her first shot with that spare bow its string stopper broke off. Brilliant! Now she had two bows with a problem. They assembled a working one out of the two at hand and she could continue the match in that way.

Another small problem the archers are facing here is the ground. As with any field, the shooting place at the peg is almost never level. Archers, especially German archer Axel Langweige, try to level the ground at the peg. Axel is an expert in bulldozering the forest floor to get a good flat spot. No such luck here at most of the pegs. Just below the surface you will hit the basalt bedrock of the mountains here. Even Axel would have a serious task at hand trying to level that. Still, it helps to some extent, but the ground is also very dry. One kicks up serious amounts of dust if you try to flatten the shooting position here. As Silcke found out when British archer Tracy Anderson kicked up the dirt when taking her position at the first shooting spot. "Tracey, stop it!" she yelled amused, just before disappearing in a cloud of dust.

Most of the coaches were very relaxed after day two, which is unusual at that particular moment of the week. However with this tournament, the cut is at 16 archers, and exactly 16 archers are competing in the Recurve Women, Recurve Men and Compound Women divisions and just 14 in the Barebow Women division. So basically the only stress was at the cut in the Barebow Men and Compound Men division with 24 and 32 participants respectively. The results of these two days will decide in what group people start tomorrow: the lane assignment for the elimination round is based upon the qualification round. It also is being used for the ranking of the Team match on Friday. And our congratulations go out to Silvio Giocelli from Italy. Although the Team captain may change the team actually shooting the Team event, theoretically he is shooting for the team being the best Italian compound archer. This is especially remarkably since he has started shooting only fairly recently. If the coach would decide to let him shoot for the team, his teammates are Giuseppe Seimandi (the Barebow archer with the incredible score of 712 after two days) and Michele Frangilli. Italy is ranked first in the Mens Team event.

Another archer that deserves a special mentioning is Zoé Göbbels from Belgium. Originally on the participant list for the juniors, she decided to change to the Recurve Women division instead because of the lack of competition in the Junior Championship. She ended third in that senior division after this round and left many seasoned Recurve Archers behind her in this qualification. Well done!

We clean the slate tomorrow, and start a fresh tournament with the eliminiation round. We wish all archers advancing to this next round good luck and some shade.




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