Mike Schloesser avenges world championship loss with European Games title in Minsk

Dutch world number one Mike Schloesser won the inaugural compound men’s title at the 2019 European Games in Minsk, Belarus after beating Gilles Seywert of Luxembourg by a single point in the final.

“It was a really exciting day, to be honest, really tough conditions, and I’m happy how I handled it mentally and physically,” said Schloesser.

With most of the competition held in blazing sunshine, the last day of men’s competition in both the compound and recurve events was marked by strong gusting wind and torrential rain showers.

Mike took the lead in the compound men’s final in the second end. But he shot three nines to close the match. It was only Seywert’s last nine that avoided a shoot-off.

“The final round was one of the windiest rounds I shot. I shot two really good shots which were just out, and the last one nearly blew me over,” said Mike.

Already one of the most decorated compound archers in history, Schloesser takes his first individual title at a multisport event with this gold medal in Minsk. He also won silver in the mixed team competition with Sanne de Laat.

“This ranks really high, around the world championship level. My world championships [this year] didn’t really go as planned because I really went there to become world champion again,” said Schloesser. “The level was there and my score was there, but my luck wasn’t there. I think I got some luck today.”

Fifth seed Seywert, for his part, had surprised many on the field to make the gold medal match – not least of all himself.

“I wasn’t thinking about winning anything above the one-eighth finals, so when I won the quarterfinals and semifinals, it was amazing,” he said. “To get to the gold medal match was just unbelievable, to realise that I’d managed it.”

The silver medal was Luxembourg’s first podium of the 2019 European Games. Seywert wore a gigantic grin on his face from the start of the final to the end.

“I’m always smiling, in a good mood. There are many volunteers, judges who have to work on the field all day long,” said Gilles. “So I try to give my best for shooting good matches and to motivate people to be in a good mood, to share the positive things, and that helps me a lot, in life.”

Mario Vavro of Croatia, the third seed, took the compound men’s bronze medal. He beat Great Britain’s Adam Ravenscroft, 145-139.

After opening with an eight, Vavro rapidly found his groove. Ravenscroft shot a seven in the second end and it left him trailing until the end of the match.

“I was really nervous, obviously, but that’s normal in the medal matches especially in front of cameras and things like that, so I’m happy with how I performed,” said Mario. “It’s a huge medal because this is the first time that compound has had a chance to compete in an event like this.”

The end of the compound men’s event was also the end of the archery competitions at the 2019 European Games in Minsk. The next edition of the continental multisport event will be held in Krakow, Poland in 2023.

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