Sjef’s European record leads Yankton recurve qualification

15 February 2018
Yankton, SD (USA)
Sjef van den Berg broke a 17-year-old European ranking round record.

In recurve qualification at the Yankton NFAA Easton Archery Centre, Sjef van den Berg of the Netherlands set a new European record (subject to ratification) of 598 out of a possible 600 points in qualifying, breaking a record that had stood for 17 years.

“I knew that my national record was the same amount of points, so I knew it was there,” said Sjef. “On the last end, it's definitely in your brain. Well, it's in my brain – I don't know how other people do it!”

“I knew that I was going to do something nice, and it would be good to make it a record. The trick for me was just to keep my rhythm; not to make it too complicated.”

Sjef and 20-year-old Yuki Kawata of Japan tied on the score atop the ranking list -  setting a new Japanese national record. 

The previous European record of 597 points was set by Michele Frangilli in Nimes in 2001 and remained the world record for 15 years until it was broken by Brady Ellison’s 598 in Marrakesh in 2016 – and matched by Ku Bonchan in Lausanne the same year. Brady set the new world record of 599 in Nimes last year. 

But 598 remained the European record until this morning in Yankton. 

With Steve Wijler in third place, the Netherlands ranked first in the recurve men’s team event, while Russia topped the recurve women, junior recurve men, and junior recurve women’s categories.

Defending champion Lisa Unruh, after triumphing in both the Indoor Archery World Cup Final and The Vegas Shoot, came down with a nasty bout of flu on the way to Yankton. She shot just a single end (scoring 10, 10, 9) of recurve women’s qualification to make sure she had a chance to continue, before returning to bed.

(An archer has to shoot just one arrow of qualifying to be ranked.)

Finishing bottom of the table, Lisa rallied enough to return to the arena just before lunch and win a single match against 10th-placed Veronika Marchenko of Ukraine, 6-4.

Nine recurve women received a bye through to the individual matches tomorrow, led by Japan’s Irie Yu on 591 points, and there was no cut, although all top 32 recurve men had to shoot.

In the first elimination round, the big shock was the early exit of Brady Ellison, who lost to Cedric Rieger of Germany in a shootoff after a shaky qualification left him in 12th place. Brady, who had been suffering from problems with his fingers, shot a six in the final end of his first match. Defending men’s recurve champion Heorhiy Ivanytskyy of Ukraine also fell in the first round.

The 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships takes place in Yankton, USA on 14-19 February.