Difficult to pause momentum, says Faugstad ahead of competition return

Anders Faugstad shoots during the final at the Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2019.

“I’ve really missed competing this past year,” says Anders Faugstad.

“Practising is certainly more fun when there is a tournament coming up. I just hope I will be able to keep my nerves in check when we get back to it.”

The 21-year-old compound archer will find out shortly when he shoots at his first international competition in 18 months at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

It’s an exciting return to the line for the young Norwegian, who had a breakout year in 2019 before the pandemic hit.

Anders finished second at the Hyundai World Archery Championships, then won the youth worlds just a few weeks later, shooting a perfect 150-point match in the arena final.

“At the start of 2020, I felt confident in both my set-up and technique. I was really looking forward to the coming season," he said. "When I heard the news that it was cancelled, it would be an understatement to say that I was disappointed. I felt like I had gained some real momentum and confidence during 2019. It’s not something that can easily be put on hold for a year.”

Faugstad is Norway’s first world championship medallist since Morten Boe finished runner-up – also in the compound men’s event – in 2005.

But one or two major results does not a career make. Faugstad is in this for the long run, and last year’s pandemic-interrupted season was supposed to be a strong follow-up.

Will 2021 be that year of consolidation instead?

“Local tournaments have been shut down in Norway for a long time now, and without any form of competition I find it really hard to realistically gauge my potential,” he says.

“Both technique and equipment tend to be affected by pressure, and it’s important to test that once in a while. I am happy with my shooting in practice, though, so hopefully, it will be a good season.”

The uncertainty surrounding the level we’ll see at international tournaments this year is as present for archers as it is for fans. If Faugstad can return at something like the level we saw two years ago, his season will be just fine.

And while he wasn’t able to maintain that momentum he earned in international competition last year, he did have time to pick up a new passion, instead – fishing.

“Although my catch rate is not much to brag about, I have found that fishing and archery have a lot in common,” he says.

“The most exciting part is buying new equipment and gadgets.”

The 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup starts in Guatemala City on 19-25 April.