10 Takeaways: Wroclaw 2015 qualification

12 August 2015
Wroclaw (POL)
Ten quick notes from qualifying at the third stage of the 2015 Archery World Cup circuit in Wroclaw, Poland.

Updated 17:00 UTC+2, Wednesday 12 August 2015.

Collin Klimitchek and Aida Roman took the top recurve men’s and women’s seeds at Wroclaw 2015, while Braden Gellenthien was first over the compound men’s ranking round and Mariya Shkolna top in the women’s.

1. The top recurve men’s 72-arrow score was a nine-point personal best in competition for the USA’s Collin Klimitchek. “The first half was better than expected,” said Collin, who World Archery profiled recently. He shot 342 out of a possible 360 points for the 36 arrows. “Then I wasn’t trying to shoot another 340 but just maintain things.”

He was on track to near-match his first-half score over the back stretch, but a low-scoring last end put it out of reach. Collin wasn’t worried: “The pin just got away from me.” He led the field anyway, landing five points ahead of teammate Sean McLaughlin, who had second.

Three-time Archery World Cup Champion Brady Ellison was third, and Zach Garrett eighth, completing both a top-three sweep and the USA putting all four of its recurve men’s athletes into automatic Archery World Cup ranking points position with byes into the third round.

Mackenzie Brown was the nation’s top recurve women‘s qualifier: fifth.

2. Reigning World Cup Final winner Aida Roman picked up a well-deserved top seed in the recurve women’s event.

After taking her first title on the circuit in 2014, she only collected five ranking points through the first two Archery World Cup stages of 2015 – on a campaign to defend her title in her home country and hometown of Mexico City. A big result in Wroclaw would go a long way towards that end.

3. A number of archers came straight to Poland from the worlds in Copenhagen. Particularly for athletes from the Americas, who had their Pan American Games shortly before the World Archery Championships as well, it’s meant a long trip at home.

When asked how easy it was to keep motivated and at the top of his game during the long period away, Canada’s Crispin Duenas said, “I don’t think I ever got demotivated. Some archers took vacation after the worlds but I went to a training camp in Legnica and just tried to stick to my normal training routine, never shooting less than 300 arrows a day and preparing to do my best in Wroclaw.”

Crispin scored 670 out of 720 points for his ranking round and secured himself the recurve men’s fifth seed.

4. Jean-Charles Valladont, who was one spot ahead of Crispin with 672 points, said his “technique was great, head was great, equipment was great,” and that he liked the Wroclaw competition field because it was very much in the countryside. Pointing to the trees surrounding the field, he said “I feel relaxed here and when you have that confidence it’s easy to shoot well.”

The 26-year-old Frenchman had an individual bronze medal in Wroclaw in 2014.

JC’s teammate Sophie Planeix, making her second appearance for France in 2015, added 35 points to the ranking score she posted at the season’s first stage in Shanghai. Her take on the round, which was good for the third seed, the highest from a French recurve woman on the year: “I managed the wind how I wanted to.” 

5. Consistency from India’s Deepika Kumari: 658 in Wroclaw after a 657 during qualification in Copenhagen. It landed her a second seed at the Archery World Cup stage in Poland but Kumari wasn’t happy.

“It’s not really a good score for me,” she said. “I can do better.”

“It doesn’t really matter where I’m shooting, it’s about my performance and my confidence. I’m always trying to get better.”

6. The Ukrainian compound women’s team shocked the field at the worlds by qualifying in 16th – the last seed to advance to the head-to-head stage of the event – then knocking out the top seeds and launching a run through the brackets to take gold.

Mariya Shkolna, one member of that world-title winning-team, was first over the compound women’s ranking round in Wroclaw.

She, as well as admitting she was a bit shocked to seed top, said that she arrived in Poland relaxed after the surprise win in Copenhagen. The entire team had not practised in the five days they were back in Ukraine because their world gold had sparked a flurry of media interest and meetings with sports officials back home.

7. Another exhausted, but high-seeded, archer: Crystal Gauvin. She took individual silver in Copenhagen then flew back home to the States to work for a week before coming back to Europe for the World Cup stage.

“I’m not good with heat,” she said. Crystal landed 10th over qualification but could have been higher. Her last end had three eights. Over the rest of the 66 arrows in the round, she’d only shot one arrow into the red.

8. The level of competition is insanely high. Now the reigning world champion, Dane Stephan Hansen said he shot “no 60s in the second half, a lot of 59s – which is not what I expect from myself.” He only dropped 13 points over the whole 72-arrow round on his way to the second seed. Some expectation!

9. “I’ve had terrible target panic,” said compound men’s leader Braden Gellenthien, from the USA, as he explained why he changed from a back tension release aid to a thumb trigger and put more weight on his bow. It’s had the right effect: 708/720 and Braden’s first top seed in a while.

“I’m able to put the pin where it needs to be and execute a clean shot,” he said.

10. Top teams: USA ranked first in the recurve men’s, compound men’s and the recurve and compound mixed team competitions. China had the recurve women’s top seed and Russia the compound women’s.