The archery world’s big introduction to Anders Faugstad
Just who is Anders Faugstad?
That was the collective question the archery world asked itself after the 19-year-old Norwegian, from the 68th seed, somehow manoeuvred himself through a field of pros to a place in the compound men’s gold medal match at the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships.
Faugstad’s achievement is all the more remarkable when you find out that he has only been shooting compound for a few seasons.
“I started archery in 2013 with recurve, I shot that for about three years. Then I started compound in 2016,” he said. “Am I a pro? You can call me a very amateur pro, I guess. I’m trying to go to all the shoots.”
The switch to compound, when it came, was permanent.
“When I shot recurve I was good to 60 metres but when I went to 70, it was like… Hum, I really like the dynamic you get when you shoot an arrow with a compound,” he said.
“It’s really fun because you can travel to more shoots; there’s a lot more cooler shoots. So that’s what drove me to it. And the club I shoot at has a good culture of compound and a lot of good archers.”
Anders said the first indoor tournament he shot with the compound he scored 584 for the 60-arrow 18-metre round. He thought it would be easy.
It wasn’t long before his scores dropped 20 points.
“After a year I shot 593 but when you go outside again everything changes. So, I went inside again, and my main focus was just to stay at a high level for a longer time,” he said.
“When it comes to scores, I want to always be good, not always being super great, but maintaining a consistent level. That’s what I’m trying to go for now.”
Faugstad trains with Morten Boe.
Boe was the top compound archer – perhaps top archer – in Norway for a long time. He was the last archer from the country to contest a world title back in Madrid in 2005, where he finished second to Sweden’s Morgan Lundin.
Like other Scandinavian nations, Norway has a small but tight network of archers who support each other and frequently travel to events together.
“We try not to be very picky with our technique, we kind of have developed our own style. We try and notice things when it comes to tuning and equipment, basically. But we often struggle to get together a good team in Norway, in both recurve and compound. It’s often just one guy is good at one time,” said Anders.
Of all the archers in ’s-Hertogenbosch, there is one that Faugstad admires in particular.
“Mike Schloesser, of course, he’s a legend. I don't think he gets recognised enough for being the legend that he is. He won the Vegas Shoot two times, won the world championship when he was 19, the first guy to 600 [indoors],” said Anders.
“He is the best archer of all time, really. So I really admire him, and also Stephan Hansen, for how consistent he can be; when it comes to the World Cups he can shoot over 700 all the time. There are so many guys you can pick from, being an inspiration.”
The international life of a pro archer doesn’t quite beckon yet. Anders still studies. He’s learning advanced maths – and then moving on to electrical engineering at university.
And not long after this world championships, Anders will be at the World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid. (The same place that Norway’s Boe has success 14 years ago.)
That’s something to think about next week, though. Anders has to get through the biggest match of his life first – the world championship final tomorrow afternoon.
The 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships take place on 10-16 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.