Preview: 1100+ archers at first 1000-level Indoor World Series stage in Nimes
There’s less than a week between the fourth stop on the Indoor Archery World Series in Sydney and the fifth at the Sud de France Nimes Archery Tournament. The two cities are separated by just under 17,000 kilometres.
We are into the business end of the indoor season now.
The first four tournaments on the international tour were all worth 250 points in the elite rankings for winners. These last two, Nimes and the Vegas Shoot, are four times more valuable. Gold medallists walk away with 1000 points each.
Such a haul comes with a price. These tournaments are immeasurably more difficult to win. Long before the advent of the Indoor Archery World Series – and even its predecessor the Indoor World Cup – Nimes was known as the European proving ground for indoor archery. Qualifying for the matches was often more difficult than at the world indoor championships (when it still existed).
Last year, the top-32 cut for the compound men’s event hit 590 points for the first time in the tournament’s 21-year history.
The Parc des Expos in Nimes was also the venue for the world’s first perfect indoor round – shot by Mike Schloesser back in 2015 – and Brady Ellison’s world-record 599 for the recurve men’s category in 2017.
(These scores still feel recent. But they’re quickly becoming history!)
The top finishers this year in France are very likely to qualify for the 2020 Indoor Archery World Series Finals which will take place in the evening of Saturday 8 February at the Vegas Shoot. It was recently announced that NBC would air the title matches live in the USA for the first time.
Nimes is known for its impeccable Roman amphitheatre. Still standing in the middle of the city centre, it’s probably the best-preserved example of this anchor of ancient entertainment outside of Italy.
- Event: Sud de France Nimes Archery Tournament
- Venue: Parc des Expos, Nimes, France
- Dates: 17-19 January 2020
- Numbers: 1170 archers; 528 in championship categories (169 recurve men, 74 recurve women, 194 compound men, 91 compound women)
- Points: 1000 (top 64 score)
- Format: 60-arrow 18-metre ranking round followed by matchplay bracket
Results, news and pictures on www.worldarchery.sport and across World Archery’s social networks over the weekend.
There’s no official ranking of world records shot per venue but if there was, the Parc des Expos in Nimes would be near the top of the list. Part of that has to do with longevity – this will be the 22nd year of the event – but it’s also proven to be a popular, and productive, arena for archers.
Talking of world records, Brazilian para archer Jane Karla Gogel has already broken the compound women’s open ranking round mark twice this season, in Luxembourg and Rome. Can she raise it higher than 577 before the season’s out?
The top-32 cuts in Nimes last year were 590 (compound men), 575 (compound women), 580 (recurve men) and 556 (recurve women). They’ve been trending up for some time.
World number one Kang Chae Young won this event in 2019. But the Korean squad has just travelled to Myanmar for a winter training camp – and she’s with them. Rio 2016 Olympic Champion Chang Hye Jin, who has not made the team for 2020, is in Nimes.
TRUBall/Axcel leads the Indoor Archery World Series compound team ranking, largely due to Kris Schaff and Mike Schloesser winning the first two events of this year’s circuit. Given the number of points available in Nimes, another win from one of the pair will likely be required to retain the top spot.
Friday 17 January: Qualification (two sessions).
Saturday 18 January: Qualification (two sessions) and eliminations.
Sunday 19 January: Secondary tournament and finals.
One to watch
Casey Kaufhold had the biggest result of her young career when she made the finals of the Nimes Archery Tournament in 2019. She lost. But she put up a four-set fight against an admittedly heavily favoured Korean opponent in Kang Chae Young.
Over the past 12 months, Casey has picked up medals on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit with the USA senior team, broken a long-time qualification world record and climbed three podiums at the Pan American Games.
One of those three was an individual bronze and another – the mixed team gold she won with Brady Ellison – qualified the USA a women’s place to the Olympics.
Kaufhold currently leads the trials for the team to Tokyo 2020 in the USA.
She’s also part of the Lancaster Archery Supply recurve team for this Indoor Archery World Series, alongside Ellison and Jack Williams. They lead the ranking heading into Nimes.
The fifth event of the 2020 Indoor Archery World Series is the Sud de France Nimes Archery Tournament on Friday 17 to Sunday 19 January 2020.