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Friday, July 16th 2010
Elimination round 1 and 2
Quarter and semi finals
World Championships Hungary 2010
Impression of the day: 

We had an extremely long day today during the World Championships Field Archery 2010. The practice field opened at 8 in the morning for those that shot the first elimination round. The first match started this morning at 9. We had some overcast this morning which was well appreciated. Apparently the Visegrád area had a record high nighttime temperature this week so it is not like the mornings start of cold. The overcast helped to keep the temperature from rising too quickly. We rotated courses one more time, so every archer has now seen the three courses. There were however only 12 in each course this morning. After an hour break (during which the courses were reset) we shot the second elimination round, consisting of only 8 targets, a rule change that was put into effect last april. In my opinion that rule change did not work out that well. You gain about an hour by shooting four targets less, but by shooting four targets less, we had an awful lot of shootoffs since so many archers ended up with the same score. I estimate that took about 45 minutes or maybe even an hour to complete. One of the reasons to bring the number of targets in the second elimination round down to 8 was that time could be saved during this phase of the competition. Having seen this rule change in practice here, I think it is fair to state the amount of time saved by leaving out four targets is not that big of a difference at all.


But wait, there's more. We also shot the semifinals today. Another 8 targets where set up to decide who would shoot the gold and bronze medal matches on Sunday. A course had to be rebuild once more to be able to shoot this competition phase. The last four targets were on the side of the practice field and offered a very nice view on the field of play for the spectators. But come on, the last arrow of this phase of the competition was shot at 6:45. That is an awful long day bearing in mind that all of these archers were getting ready for the day at 8 in the morning. I spoke to a few team captains about this change and the opinion on this part of the program was very diverse. Some captains liked the fact that we are now completely ready for the finals, since only the gold and bronze medal matches remain. We had a day full of excitement. Other team captains thought the day was way too long for the archers to be able to perform well during the semi finals. I was not out there shooting arrows but rather pictures, but I could barely lift my camera at the end of the day. And sure, archers had time to rest (unlike the photographers), but it was not like one could walk back to the hotel, take two showers, have an early diner and appear for their part in the semi final at such and such time.


The plan for the final on Sunday is to have every couple shoot the four targets for their finals, and then have another pair of archers show up in the arena for their four targets. If I am counting correctly we have 22 finals to shoot. If every target takes 6 minutes to complete we have about 10 hours of matchplay with this system. I sure hope it will be quicker than that, especially since rain is predicted for Sunday.


In the meantime we are preparing for the team finals tomorrow. A part of the competition I always enjoy. A part were people root for whatever is their favorite country, and the class of the individual top athletes is nearly pushed to the background since only the flag on their shirt matters and the achievement of the team as a whole.




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