Hansen wins right to defend world junior crown

11 juin 2015
Yankton (USA)
Dane Stephan Hansen won cadet gold in 2011, junior gold in 2013 and qualified for a second final match in a row in 2015.

The number one seed in the compound junior men’s competition, Denmark’s Stephan Hansen was already a three-time world champion when he arrived in Yankton.

He had individual cadet gold at the World Archery Youth Championships in 2011, junior gold in 2013 – and won the senior team world title that same year.

In 2015, at his last junior event in Yankton, the young Viking has a shot at a third youth title in a row in a defence of his world crown.

Stephan’s first and last matches of the compound eliminations day were, by his own admission, not great. He sneaked past his first opponent, Furkan Dernekl, by a point in the third round – and performed a magic comeback in his semifinal.

The two matches in between were mundane days at the office, despite the tricky wind and lashing rain, as Hansen dropped the highest score on the field in both: 148 and 146.

Against Croatia’s Domagoj Buden in the semis, Stephan trailed by three heading into the last end.

“I felt I didn’t really deserve it at that point,” he admitted. “I simply had not shot well enough.”

But his last three arrows were excellent: Hansen put three in the middle. He pumped his fist and strode off the line without looking at his opponent’s target.

The pressure mounted on Buden and it showed. Domagoj leaked his three arrows into the nine, the last – shot after the rest of the line was clear – with a last chance to take the match.

It went to a tiebreaker.

The top seed, Hansen, shot first and picked out the middle, shooting a 10/9 linecutter; his opponent went into the red and into the bronze medal match.

“To win gold here, wow, it would just be the perfect end to six years of competing as a junior,” said Hansen.

The USA’s David Houser beat Mario Vavro in the other semifinal. Vavro, from Croatia, has teammate Buden in the bronze medal match.

Compound junior women’s favourite Sara Lopez did not make the finals.

The reigning Archery World Cup Final Champion missed two arrows of her quarterfinal match because water got stuck in her peepsight. Two arrows written off in a compound match is the match lost – and Lopez was out.

Her quarterfinal opponent, Mariya Shkolna of Ukraine, lost her next match, a semifinal, to Sarah Holst Sonnichsen – while the latter’s teammate, Tanja Jensen, won the other semi.

Sarah Holst and Tanja both shoot for Denmark, like Hansen.

Top compound cadet girls’ qualifier Fatimah Almashhadani led a final four that featured all four top seeds. She won her semi, while Dutch third-ranked Evelien Groeneveld topped the USA’s Dahlia Crook, the number two seed, in the other.

Evelien had asked her coach whether to switch from the back tension release she had been using due to the windy weather.

She didn’t, and the decision paid off.

Reigning youth indoor world champ Viktor Orosz had a clean path through his elimination matches from his second seed position.

The only person that beat Hungary’s Orosz over qualification, Sebas Arenas from Colombia, went out first thing in the morning. Serdar Bortay Maras claimed the Colombian’s side of the bracket.

Maras qualified in fourth and was not challenged hard through the eliminations.