6 takeways: Eliminations at Dublin 2016

30 September 2016
Dublin (IRL)
Highlights from the semifinal matches and eliminations at the 2016 World Archery Field Championships in Ireland.

Elimination day at the 2016 World Archery Field Championships first saw the top 16 archers shooting at 12 marked targets. Only the top eight moved into the second elimination, which consisted of eight marked targets.

The top four over the second eliminations advanced to the semifinal matches in each of the three archery categories – recurve, compound and barebow – in their respective divisions. At the end of the day, the gold medal matches were set.

Here’s six takeaways from elimination day in Dublin…

1. First time finalist

Dublin 2016 is World Archery Champion Stephan Hansen’s first ever World Archery Field Championships. Seeded eighth after the unmarked and marked qualification days, the “Prince of Denmark” shot 205 out of 216 points in the first elimination round to move into the second.

He finished that tied at 137 points with Zagreb 2014 silver medallist Chris White. Shoot-off. Hansen won, taking out the X in the centre of the target in the process.

In the semis, he met first seed and favourite for the compound men’s title, the USA’s Dave Cousins, who he beat by three points, 70-67, over the four target marked course.

“Mostly I came here because it’s off-season and I wanted to practise, to shoot competitions and this is a game just like 50 metres,” said Hansen, who won his world title in the outdoor discipline. 

“When you’re shooting head-to-head it’s just like shooting a 15-arrow-match. You get nervous and everything is on the line, it’s the same kind of practice and same kind of shooting.”

The 21-year-old added that he’d already learned a lot about his shooting during the event.

“Making it into the top eight for me felt like I did what I was supposed to. Now I’m happy with my result, so whatever happens now I’m happy with how it goes,” Hansen said.

2. Big upsets

Apart from Dave Cousins’ loss in the semis to Hansen, reigning barebow champion and first seed Lina Bjorklund missed out on the opportunity to defend the woman’s title that she won in 2012 and 2014.

She lost to Italy’s Eleonora Strobbe by 5 points, 48-42, in their semifinal.

Strobbe, 24, medalled at each of the three previous World Archery Field Championships she competed in – and was winner at Visegrad 2010.

Compound man Jesse Broadwater, who arrived in Dublin with two consecutive world titles, didn’t made the cut after the second elimination round, in which he finished tied in sixth with 136 points. The cut was 137.

3. rematch

Brady Ellison and JC Valaldont’s semifinal was a replay of the Zagreb 2014 gold medal match.

After three targets, the Rio 2016 Olympic medallists – Brady, bronze; JC, silver – were tied at 47 points each. Then in the fourth, Valladont shot: 5-5-4. Brady: 6-5-4.

“That was a huge one point, a millimetre – that’s how big that one point was,” said Brady. “It means going for gold and defending a title, or being in the bronze.”

“I shot good all week. Then JC in the last eight targets, shot really well in the top eight, and I did not – and we both shot good in that semifinal, and it just came down to that last target. It’s how we always shoot when we shoot field. It’s our third match together and every one of them has been down to his last arrow.”

Valladont added that it was unusual to have to shoot against Brady from the first-ranked position – Brady entered the semis as number four – because he expected the pair to be in the top two.

“Two years ago, Brady won, I was second. In the Olympic Games, I was second, Brady three. This is the game. You have a winner, it changes all the year,” he said. “I’m unlucky to shoot against Brady in the semifinal.”

“Now I have changed my competition. I am not shooting for gold, because it’s finished, now I’m shooting for bronze. This is my maximum, this is my new competition.”

4. Defending champion

Two years ago at Zagreb 2014, Sweden’s barebow man Erik Jonsson beat teammate Martin Ottosson to gold. In Dublin, the phase was different, the result the same.

Erik made the gold final by six points, 50-56, ahead of Martin in the semis, securing a chance to defend his title.

He’ll do it against first-time finalist David Garcia from Spain, who – after being fourth seed over qualification – finished fourth in the first elimination and topped the second one with 111 points, before beating Michael Fisher 53-44.

“The feeling throughout this week was good. I felt very confident and shot all my arrows the best I could. Making the finals is big, I’m really happy about the results,” said David.

“I want to win the finals, I’ll give all I can and see how it goes. Against Erik I feel no fear, I respect him, we’ve been shooting together all week, but it doesn’t really worry me that he is the defending champion.”

5. Junior finalists

The junior gold medal matches at Dublin 2016 will be contested by:

6. Italy strong

Across the recurve and barebow, junior and senior, categories, Italy has a total of eight archers shooting in the Dublin 2016 finals – that’s 25%!

In recurve, Jessica Tomassi, Yuri Belli and Chiara Rebagliati will go for gold. In Barebow, Eleonora Strobbe, Alessio Noceti and Sara Noceti. Marco Morello and Eric Esposito shoot for bronze.

The 2016 World Archery Field Championships run 27 September to 2 October in Dublin, Ireland.