Canales wins European Grand Prix in Antalya with excellent tiebreak

Galsan Bazarzhapov, Elia Canales, Jozef Bosansky and Natalia Avdeeva won individual gold medals during the finals at the second European Grand Prix of 2021 in Antalya, Turkey.

Canales defeated France’s Lisa Barbelin in a tiebreak to take the recurve women’s title, shooting a 10 to her opponent’s nine, despite the challenging wind.

“I was very nervous,” said the 19-year-old Spanish archer. “I was focusing on doing my technique correctly and doing my job, even with the stress.”

Runner-up Barbelin won the previous European Grand Prix in Porec in March.

Neither Spain nor France has yet secured a women’s quota place for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. The next opportunity to do so will be during the European Championships, in this same venue in Antalya, at the start of June.

“Being among the best here, and in this case winning, gives me confidence that I can do it then, as well when I’ll really need to win it,” said Canales.

Russia has already qualified its women’s team for the upcoming Olympics but will fight for a men’s spot at the Europeans. Bazazhapov, who beat Nicholas D’Amour of the US Virgin Islands in straight sets in Sunday's recurve men’s final, also said his victory gave him hope for the all-important qualifier in less than two months.

D’Amour secured his country’s first major international archery medal with silver.

Russia swept the compound women’s podium, with Natalia Avdeeva taking individual gold against teammate Arina Cherkezova in a comfortable final, 140-133.

“It was a strange match. It was windy, so windy. In my head, it was, push the button, push the button,” the reigning World Archery Champion said afterward.

Jozef Bosansky of Slovakia, who shot at the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, beat Germany’s Tim Krippendorf, 139-136, in the compound men’s gold-medal match. It’s a one-position upgrade on his final ranking from the previous European Grand Prix, where he finished second.

The world-ranking points won in Antalya will have an impact immediately, as the next world-ranking lists are due to be published Monday.

World Archery will stream the gold-medal matches from the European Grand Prix in Antalya delayed on its YouTube channel at 14h00 CET on Tuesday.

Photos by Saygin Akinci. Quotes by Oyku Ergec.

Individual winners