Three Italian archers take top seeds at 2019 European Field Archery Championships

2 October 2019
Mokrice, Slovenia
Competition runs until Saturday 5 October in Slovenia.

Massimiliano Mandia, Cinzia Noziglia and Eric Esposito finished top of the recurve men’s and barebow categories over qualification to give Italy three number one seeds in the individual events at the 2019 European Field Archery Championships in Mokrice, Slovenia.

Toja Ellison, representing the host nation, was the highest-scoring compound woman.

The recurve women’s first seed went to Bryony Pitman of Great Britain and in the compound men’s event, Domagoj Buden outscored world field champion and world-number-one-ranked target archer Mike Schloesser to lead.

Italy qualified top in both the men’s and women’s team events. (Teams in field consist of one recurve, one compound and one barebow archer.)

“The courses were picturesque. At first sight, they didn’t seem particularly difficult but there were many technically challenging aspects,” said top-ranked barebow man Eric Esposito.

Under rules introduced last season, the top two seeds in each category automatically advance to the semifinals.

The remainder are split into pools and proceed through a shoot-up system. The lowest-ranked archer in a pool shoots against the next lowest, with the winner advancing to meet the next in line in that group.

It is the second time in a row that the European field championships have been held in Slovenia.

Host nation archer Ana Umer won recurve women’s gold at this tournament two years ago – but also four years ago, in Poland, too. A third consecutive victory would be quite unprecedented.

She qualified in fourth, 12 points back from leader Pitman.

“I feel a little bit angry because yesterday I scored two misses and today was similar for two arrows. Just stupid mistakes and that is how I lost a spot in the semis,” said Umer. 

“At the same time, this anger makes me even more motivated to shoot stronger over the coming days. I am here to win a third gold medal. There is nothing else I want.”

Ana and top-seeded compound woman Toja are Slovenia’s best chances at taking titles at this home championships.

Toja scored a new national record with 834 points for the 48-target mixed marked and unmarked qualification round. The score would have been second in the men’s event, behind only leader Buden.

“I am super happy with the last two days. I shot my best field round ever,” said Toja. “I am very happy with pretty much all my shots. I didn’t have very many that could be shot better. I had two good days and I am excited for the rest of the tournament.”

Currently ranked number eight in the world as a target archer, the 26-year-old was world field champion in 2014. She said practice, physical fitness and a passion for the discipline is what makes her good at field archery.

Alessandro Carassai, Olivia Elamsson, Ziga Ravnikar, Aurelie Autret, Erik Persson and Amanda Mlinaric seeded first in the junior events.

The 2019 European Field Archery Championships takes place on 29 September to 5 October in Mokrice, Slovenia.