8 takeaways: compound eliminations at Wroclaw 2017

Each of the three compound competition categories at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw, Poland – individual women, individual men and mixed team – were cut down to their final four all on the first tournament day.

Two of the favourites and top seeds, World Archery Champion man Stephan Hansen and world number two woman Sara Lopez, made it through. The other two top qualifiers, Mike Schloesser and Sarah Sonnichsen, each lost matches by one point; Mike to Esmaeil Ebadi in the quarters, Sara to Christie Colin in the second round.

Here are eight takeaways from compound eliminations in Wroclaw…

1. Perfect score

Top seed over the compound men’s individual ranking round with a total of 716 out of a possible 720 points, Stephan Hansen beat Alberto Blazquez, 149-147, before meeting reigning World Games Champion Reo Wilde.

Hansen shot a perfect 15 arrows in the match and was close to beating, coincidentally, Reo’s world record of 150 12X. (He needed three Xs from his last three arrows, but only shot one.)

“I was one X away from tieing it and, with two, I would have made it. I shot really good, felt easy, got little nervous but nothing really special,” he said. “I have big respect for Reo, I know he can beat me at any time. I think I’ve shot against him a couple of times and I probably have won once.”

“Winning against him is really a big thing for me. I have been confident to win here, but now I know I can do it.”

2. Shoot-offs

Two of the eight individual quarterfinal matches were decided with a one-arrow shoot-off.

With the advantage flipping back and forth throughout regulation, Camilo Cardona and Domagoj Buden finished tied at 147 points apiece. A tiebreak was needed to decide the winner: Cardona shot a nine; Buden a perfect X.

“That X felt so good! It’s like everything disappeared in that right moment. I think it was my best shot of the day,” said Domagoj.

The same score decided Alexandra Savenkova and Sarah Prieels’ match, after each of the pair scored 145 points. Savenkova shot the better arrow in the shoot-off.

“That last match against Prieels was hard for me. My hand was very shaky and I was very nervous,” explained Alexandra. “I’m happy I got good results. I hope to make the gold medal match. I really want to win because this will be my first match against Sara Lopez and I really want to beat her.”

3. Back to the semis

Peter Elzinga, a multiple international medallist, had his last big outdoor win at the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Medellin in 2014. 

Seeded fifth with 707 points after the qualification round in Wroclaw, Peter beat Ivan Markes from Croatia, 149-147, and Dane Martin Damsbo, 148-144, in the quarters to make it back into the final four.

“I had no expectation at all. I’ve been struggling all season, so I think I finally found a combination between my bow and myself that’s working,” said Peter. “I know I was shooting good in practice, but I didn’t know what to expect for eliminations. I’m glad I reached this far. What happens tomorrow, happens tomorrow. That’ll be a different day.”

“I’m satisfied that I could be at such a good level again. I know I can handle that level and I have to give it all but it’s finally there.” 

4. Right place, right time

After fighting hard throughout season, Toja Ellison also made the final four, in the women’s event. The Slovenian first beat Italy’s Marcella Tonioli by one, 143-142, and then Mexico’s Linda Ochoa-Anderson by one, too, 147-146.

“I shot very good today,” said Toja. “I had one end in the qualification that I would take back, but I was proud of myself for how I quickly dropped it and continued fighting hard until the end.”

Toja scored 696 points over the 72-arrow 50-metre ranking round.

“I’m happy, I’ve been waiting for this moment pretty much the whole season and I’m even happier it happened here. I hope to carry the momentum further,” she added.

5. Early upset

World number one Sarah Sonnichsen lost to the USA’s Christie Colin in the second round, 145-144. After seeding second over qualification, and saying her plan was to meet Sara Lopez in the finals, she admitted that she wasn’t feeling at her best form in Wroclaw.

“It would be nice to shoot here for gold, but I’m really not sure,” she said. “I’m tired. I’m a bit jetlagged because I came back home from the USA on Tuesday and I’m still recovering. I had to fight a lot today. All the nines I had it’s because I just gave up on those arrows.”

6. Other upsets of note…

7. Back on form?

“I feel happy. I shot two matches of a 149 points. I was very calm, the weather was perfect and everything ran smoothly,” said Sara Lopez, after converting her top seeding into a semifinals berth.

“This is a step forward. Since my last participation at the World Games in Cali, I decided I wanted to do better in this edition as back then I was a bit amateur and immature, and it was my first year on the national team.” 

Fast forward four years and Lopez owns most of the compound women’s world records, was ranked world number one for 1033 days and has two Hyundai Archery World Cup Final crowns in her cabinet.

“This time I have experience on my shoulders.”

8. Semifinals

The compound men’s final four:

  • Stephan Hansen/Peter Elzinga
  • Domagoj Buden/EsmaEil ebadi

The compound women’s final four:

  • Sara Lopez/Alexandrea Savenkova
  • Toja Ellison/Christie Colin

The mixed team final four:

  • Mexico/Colombia
  • Denmark/USA

The compound target archery competitions at the 2017 World Games run 29/30 July in Wroclaw, Poland.