Italy wins six individual junior medals at home World Archery Field Championships

Italian junior barebow archers Eric Esposito, David Bianchi and Natalia Trunfio; recurve junior woman Aiko Rolando and compounders Sara Ret and Jesse Sut all won individual medals at the 2018 World Archery Field Championships in Cortina, Italy.

The barebow junior men’s gold medal match between Esposito and Bianchi went to a single-arrow shoot-off after the two were tied at 41 points after the four targets.

“It was difficult but we gave everything we could,” said Bianchi. “I still need to work on how to handle the stress because in this case, it’s important to keep the guard high."

Bianchi took an early lead of eight points after the first target, 16-8. Esposito then reduced his deficit to five after the second target, 26-21, and then to only three points after the third, 38-35.

Esposito opened the fourth and last target with a four and followed with a miss; Bianchi with a two and a one. Esposito landed his last arrow in the two. Bianchi, needing one point to win, missed the target and sent the match to a shoot-off.

“We had the same opportunity to win and getting into a shoot-off at a world championships is challenging,” said Eric, who scored a four to David’s three on the 45-metre uphill tiebreak target to take the match.

“The last arrow was for sure the most difficult one because we are both at the same level.”

Esposito and Bianchi’s barebow teammate Natalia Trunfio beat the USA’s Laura Hughes to the junior women’s title, 30-29, while Sweden's Sara Liljestrom took the bronze.

In the recurve junior women’s final, 16-year-old Aiko Rolando led from beginning to end to take gold over Frenchwoman Mathilde Louis, 51-42.

“Actually, I can’t believe it. I came here thinking that I couldn’t do it and I’m leaving with a gold medal,” said Aiko. “This is my first world field international competition, I’m still a cadet and even though there are people with more experience than me, I shot good.”

“It’s an amazing thing to win here in Italy. It’s special.”

Italian compound junior girl Sara Ret then beat Cassidy Cox from the USA to win her first World Archery Field Championship title by 10, 67-57. Ret’s 67 was the highest score of the morning on the finals field.

“I have shot good from beginning to end here in Cortina and I knew that I could win, but the best thing is to have done it here with my teammates supporting me,” said Sara. “I love Italy and our team is like family.”

Jesse Sut collected Italy’s its sixth and last junior medal in Cortina by defeating Austrian boy Stefan Heincz to the compound junior men’s bronze. Timo Bega of Luxembourg finished first ahead of the USA’s Connor Sears.

The 2018 World Archery Field Championships take place in Cortina, Italy on 4-9 September.