Gibson, Faugstad take top compound junior seeds at youth world championships

20 August 2019
Madrid, Spain
Norway matched the world record for the compound junior mixed team ranking round.

Great Britain’s Ella Gibson and Norwegian archer Anders Faugstad led the compound junior ranking rounds at the 2019 World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid, scoring 693 and 707 points, respectively, for the 72-arrow 50-metre round.

“I’m shaky but good. I’m glad, although I had a bit of a difficult time with some of my second half. I’m glad I could make it in the end,” said 19-year-old Gibson. “Even though we’ve shot senior stuff, the coaches have all said they wanted us focused on the youth worlds.”

Gibson won her first medals on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit in 2019, including mixed team gold at the fourth stage in Berlin.

Her qualification in Madrid was perhaps just as nailbiting.

With three ends left to shoot, Gibson, Croatia’s Amanda Mlinaric and Turkey’s Ipek Tomruk were tied on 520 points. Six arrows later, they all had 578.

Mlinaric drew ahead with an end left to shoot. Gibson, on 634, was a single point behind. There was a group of four archers on one more point behind her.

“I looked on that last end and I think that motivated me to shoot well,” said Ella.

She finished with 59 points out of a possible 60 and jumped up into the lead with 693. Tomruk also ended strong, taking second on 693, while Mlinaric fell to fourth.

Senior world number one and a presumptive favourite for the world junior title, Alexis Ruiz, seeded third.

Elizaveta Koroleva, Paralympic Champion Jessica Stretton, Sunniva Lislevand and Universiade Champion Andrea Becerra completed the top eight in an incredibly tight competition. Becerra had 688 points, just five off the lead. 

Wheelchair archer Stretton shot 690 and a personal best at her first able-bodied championships.

The compound junior men’s top qualifier, Anders Faugstad, has already picked up a major medal in 2019. He was runner-up at the Hyundai World Archery Championships earlier this summer. Faugstad shot his way up from the 68th seed to make Norway’s first final in 14 years at that event.

In Madrid, he’ll attack the brackets from a very different position. Anders came in on 707, three points clear of his nearest competitor.

“I started good with a [3]55-round and then it got a little bit windier, not like steady wind but gusty wind, so dropped some arrows I shouldn’t have dropped and ended up with 352,” he said. “I’m happy with it. It’s my highest score in competition, so it’s cool.”

Anders said he recently changed to arrows that were 50 grains heavier than his previous shafts – and that don’t get affected quite as much by the wind.

He compared the conditions at these youth worlds to those at the senior championships.

“It’s a nice shoot and here in Madrid, there’s really nice weather. There’s nothing to complain about really,” he said. “When we shot in the Netherlands it was raining and it was cold. So this is great.”

Estonia’s Robin Jaatma seeded second with 704 points, and Sergei Shenkhorov and Danial Heidarzadehdehkordi came third and fourth, both on 700. Cooper French, Austin Taylor, Rodrigo Olvera Mendez and David Varga also received top-eight byes to the third round.

Top-ranked man Anders Faugstad and seventh-seeded woman Sunniva Lislevand totalled 1395 out of a possible 1440 points to match the compound junior mixed team world record.

That score was only set recently at the European Grand Prix in Romania, Bucharest.

Russia came in first over compound junior men’s team qualification; the USA was the top seed in the compound junior women’s event.

The 2019 World Archery Youth Championships takes place on 19-25 August in Madrid, Spain.