Yankton 2018: Peineau and Franchini defending crowns

Seb Peineau and Irene Franchini arrived at the 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships in Yankton, South Dakota as defending champions of the indoor crowns they collected in Ankara, Turkey in 2016.

Through World Archery’s 14 indoor championships to date, the only senior to have won it back-to-back is Natalia Valeeva; while Viktor Orosz has been the only junior. Will Seb and Irene be able to defend theirs?

Compound women

Former recurve archer Irene Franchini became World Archery Indoor Champion in Ankara 2016 after beating Albina Loginova from Russia by three, 141-138 in the gold final, only six month after making the switch to compound.

Ranked fourth after the 60-arrow 18-metre ranking round in Yankton, Irene scored 53 10s and seven nines for a total of 593 out of a possible 600 points.

“I like to try and shoot good. For me, it’s not about the scores but the feeling,” said Irene. “I’m changing few things with my technique, so I’m trying to make it work. Winning will be a consequence of doing it the right way.”

But is she feeling confident?

“I trained as hard as I always do. I got mentally and physically prepared. I would like to defend the title, but it’s not my main focus. If it works, great but what I really want to do is shoot well and enjoy.”

Compound men

Seb Peineau is reigning outdoor and indoor World Archery Champion – titles he won by beating both Mike Schloesser, in Ankara, and Stephan Hansen, in Mexico City, both in one-arrow shoot-offs.

He qualified 10th with 591 out of a possible 600 points over the compound men’s ranking round in Yankton. Although satisfied with his score, Seb wasn’t happy with his shooting.

“The qualification score was good but my form wasn’t. My timing was bad and I was aiming too long. I was affecting my realease with my little finger, so I talked with my coach and found the way to improve it,” said Seb.

He then went head-to-head with Dutchman Sil Pater, who he beat with a perfect 150-point, 15-arrow match score.

Despite the perfect score, Seb said defending his individual title is not his main goal but the team.

“I had to prove that I’m good to be on the team, so I want to focus on that. I won two years ago in Ankara, but Yankton is a new competition. You never know what can happen, especially in our category – and you can be out by a millimetre.”

The 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships takes place in Yankton, USA on 14-19 February.