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Friday, August 21st 2009

Program in Champagnac

Team competition

08:15 - 09:00 warming-up

09:15 calling of the groups

09:45 1/4 finals - 8 targets - known distances

11:00 semi-finals - 4 targets - known distances

14:00 Bronze medal matches - 4 targets - known distances

15:00 Gold medal matches - 4 targets - known distances

17:00 Medal ceremony team competition

EC France LogoImpression of the day:

We put up shop in Champagnac today for the team event during this European Championship. We nicknamed the place between ourselves to "Champagnchaud" (chaud meaning "hot" in French), but today was actually an excellent day for shooting. It was about 27 degrees and some sunny patches between the clouds. The first 8 targets of the team event were shot just outside Champagnac on a hilly terrain that looked rather challenging from a distance. I would have loved to have shown you the pictures to prove it, but we were send out of the field by the head judge this morning, just when I was about to walk into it. His argument was that if photographers were going into the field, other people would follow. I asked if the judges would have a problem differentiating between people wearing bright yellow press jackets and the average archery supporter walking into a field but my effort was in vain. The head judge was unrelenting and told me he was fed up with ushering all sorts of people out of the course. We were 'saved' by a press colleague of ours, who totally ignored the head judge and just jumped the fence to walk with the German team.  During the match, when he was spotted by the head judge, he signaled to me that he was not able to drag our colleague out from the other side of the field, and said it would be unfair to let him be, and still prevent us from entering the course. So, if we wanted, we could take pictures in the field. Unfortunately that gave us just enough time to cover about four targets out of the eight present.

In these quarter finals for the Team event, Finland was pretty much crushed by Italy. Somehow I got the feeling the Finnish men did not have that much faith in advancing to the next round from the beginning of this match and lost with 22 points behind. Another country that was send home convincingly was Austria: they were beaten by Sweden with 27 points difference. The other matches were more equal matches.

After the break, we shot the semi finals and bronze and gold medal matches around the castle in Champagnac. It was a very compact course, and offered nice opportunities to make pictures during the day. The semi final match between the ladies of Germany and France ended in a tie with very good shooting of the French. The shoot off in this event is basically an additional round on the same (last) target. Monika Jentges opened this end strong with a six on the 35 meter target for her. Germany kept the advantage and went to the gold medal match; the French ladies competed for the bronze against Great Britain. A match the French ladies eventually won to gain the bronze medal here. The Italian ladies got the gold with a six point lead against Germany.

In the men teams, it was Sweden that had problems today. They not only lost the semi finals, but also the finals. Things just did not work out okay for them this afternoon and in the finals especially the first bunny target. The British men were strong against Sweden in the semi finals, but the Italian men they meet next were simply too strong.

I understand the French Archery Federation declared 2009 the year of field archery. But somehow this motto is better understood by the Italians. With both the Women and the Men teams clinching the gold in this Team event they surely have a reason to call this their year of field archery. And we have not even shot the individual finals yet. Two junior Italian archers and seven seniors are still in competition. The Italians have rather high odds to bring home even more medals to add to their palmary.




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