Taking it easy, says European Games Champion Miguel Alvarino

Shooting at his first Olympic test event as part of the Spanish squad in Rio, Miguel Alvarino Garcia has already made history at home and abroad. At just 21 years of age – and with just two years of international experience – Miguel took gold at the first European Games.

Miguel beat Dutchman Sjef van der Berg to gold at Baku 2015 – and won silver with Spain’s recurve men’s team. An achievement, said Miguel, that took him by surprise as he didn’t even think he was going to attend the Games.

“Our goal was the worlds in Copenhagen,” he admitted. “And I didn’t expect Baku to be so well organised! To be honest, it looked like the Olympics to me.”

Miguel, who has never been to an Olympics, turned an unexpected trip to the European Games into an event that would etch his name into the history books.

His results didn’t stop there. At the World Archery Championships in Copenhagen, Miguel – with teammates Antonio Fernandez and Juan I. Rodriguez – won a full team quota place for Rio 2016, coming seventh. Miguel also qualified for the Archery World Cup Final, with top-eight individual finishes at the first two stages of the year.

He’s got his eye on adding Olympic gold to his European Games title.

“We still don’t know what it’s going to be like,” said Miguel about the Rio 2016 selection procedure. “There are six of us fighting for three spots. I intend to qualify and want to keep doing well.”

To make Rio 2016 a possibility, Miguel said he still needed to work a lot, improve his technique, invest more in his psychological preparation and get ready for whatever the next season might bring.

Mental preparation, said Miguel, is one of the things he focuses most on, as he tries to remain level headed in competition.

“In Rio, I’m happy and excited, but I still have the feeling that it’s missing people in the stands,” he said. “That usually cheers you up a lot!”

Most competition days at the Aquece Rio test event are not open to the public as the organisers trial operational procedures.

“If I make the team, I definitely won’t come to Rio just to enjoy the time. At my first Olympics I would give my best and shoot, arrow by arrow, the best I possibly can,” said Miguel, firmly and with a smile on his face.

“It will be serious.”

The 2015 season will be Miguel Alvarino’s longest so far, with a date at the Archery World Cup Final in Mexico City to cap it off. He did admit that he’s already begun to decrease his training intensity.

“It’s been a long year. I’m a bit tired and not finishing it so well, as I feel I’m what we call in Spanish ‘un poco flojo’,” he explained. The Spanish literally translates as ‘a bit lazy’ – but the meaning is more tired or worn out.

“We’ll see how Mexico goes. I will go and shoot my arrows just like any other tournament.”