Randi Degn picks up first international gold at Veronica’s Cup

Randi Degn shoots during finals at the 2021 Veronica’s cup in Kamnik, Slovenia.

Denmark’s Randi Degn, Croatia’s Amanda Mlinaric, Austria’s Nico Wiener and Gasper Strajhar, representing the Slovenian hosts, collected the individual gold medals at the 2021 Veronica’s Cup in Kamnik.

Degn defeated Polish Paralympic medallist Milena Olszewska in a five-set recurve women’s final.

“It means a lot to me because it’s my first win ever,” said the 31-year-old. “It gives me a lot of confidence. Now I know that I can do it.”

A back-and-forth gold medal match saw Degn deliver her best set of the match, a 29, to break the deadlock. Having competed internationally since 2008, it brought her first-career individual podium.

The recurve men’s title match was over much quicker.

Comfortable in his home environment, Gasper Strajhar dispatched France’s Lou Thirion in straight sets. Solid in the arena, Strajhar said he was ‘confident, but not so calm’ on route to his third victory at the Veronica’s Cup (2016, 2018 and 2021) since it became a world-ranking event.

Nico Wiener and Amanda Mlinaric were heavy favourites for the compound titles, having been the only two archers to top 700 points during a windy and rainy ranking round on Friday.

Neither started fast in their finals, but both finished strong by dropping just one point in their back-nine arrows.

Nico defeated Slovenia’s Aljaz Brenk to compound men’s gold, 145-141. Amanda won her second world-ranking event of this young season with a 146 for the 15-arrow match and a seven-point victory over Italian archer Elisa Bazzichetto.

“I’m very pleased with my score in the finals,” said the 19-year-old Mlinaric.

“I was very nervous, at first I was shaking a bit and I was staying at full draw a bit longer than usual, which is not so typical for me. But I’m happy, it turned out well in the end.”

The weather during the finals was considerably improved over the previous two days of competition.

“It doesn’t matter, you need to shoot in every conditions,” said Wiener.

Nearly 150 archers from the national teams of 12 countries, plus independents, competed at this three-day world-ranking event.

The Veronica’s Cup is named after a local countess who, as the legend goes, turned into a snake after refusing to gift money to the local peasants. In generous contrast, the event offers significant prize money for its size.