Andreoli beats Boari in all-Italian recurve women’s final at European Games

Tatiana Andreoli beat teammate Lucilla Boari in four sets to take the recurve women’s gold medal at the 2019 European Games in Minsk, Belarus and secured Italy’s second archery champion title of the event.

“It was the perfect day. Also because my mental game was perfect. I was so comfortable. I used to shake in finals but I was just so comfortable,” said Andreoli. “Sometimes I had some mistakes but I made a lot of focus to stay focused. As a personal achievement, tick.”

The number 12 seed had a tough route to the final.

She needed shoot-offs to get past Hanna Marusava and Audrey Adiceom in her first two matches. Tatiana then beat Inna Stepanova, 6-4, in the quarterfinals – before hitting her stride in a four-set win over Gabriela Bayardo in the semis.

Andreoli opened better than Boari in the final, shooting 28 points to her opponent’s 25. They split the second set, both scoring 28.

And then Tatiana was better – not perfect – over the back two sets. She shot two sets of 26 points as Lucilla struggled, hitting three sevens in six arrows, to take the final, 7-1.

“It was a little weird because we stay always together. We are friends. We live in the same house, we practice together, we go to the gym together, we go to the mall together,” said Andreoli.

“Someone wins and someone loses. That’s sport. Maybe she will not talk to me for the next two hours. But then we start again. We are a team – as it’s something better. It’s three persons in a team.”

Boari adds the individual silver to the mixed team gold medal she won with Mauro Nespoli earlier in the Minsk competition week. That mixed team win also secured Italy a women’s quota place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

“I didn’t shoot very well but sometimes it happens. It’s a good silver medal and next time I’ll try to do it better,” said Lucilla.

Gabriela Bayardo beat Russia’s Anna Balsukova, 7-1, to take the recurve women’s bronze medal. Perhaps more importantly, she qualified the Netherlands a women’s quota place for Tokyo 2020 by making the final four.

One spot was available in the women’s competition in Minsk. She was the only quarterfinalist from a country that did not already have a spot secured – and therefore the only archer eligible to win it.

The top seed did so by winning her last-eight match against Belarus’ Karyna Dziominskaya with a better nine in a tiebreak.

She then lost to eventual winner Andreoli in their semifinal before recovering to take a convincing bronze medal.

“I got notified that I won the Olympic ticket just after the quarterfinals. I was really excited. I wanted to cry. I was really happy. It was just a mix of emotions,” said Bayardo. “The time was too short and I needed to shoot, and I couldn’t handle that.”

One day of archery competition remains in Minsk. Recurve and compound men’s champion titles will be awarded on Thursday 27 June, along with up to two men’s quota places for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

The archery competitions at the 2019 European Games take place on 21-27 June in Minsk, Belarus.