Russian women dominant as three archers make Lausanne final fours
A trio of Russian women – two recurve and one compound – advanced to the semifinals of the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup on Thursday, heralding the team’s triumphant return to the international circuit.
Reigning world champion Natalia Avdeeva headlines the list of names in the compound women’s competition. She will be joined in the arena by Andrea Marcos, Linda Ochoa-Anderson and Tanja Gellenthien, who was the runner-up at the season opener. Former world champion Ksenia Perova and Svetlana Gomboeva fill half of the recurve spots in the final four, with Audrey Adiceom and Lisa Unruh their contenders.
“Before I came here, I hoped I would do well,” Avdeeva said. The world number two upset the top seed, Ella Gibson, in the last 16 and then faced Estonia’s Meeri-Marita Paas in the quarterfinals.
“When I was standing to shoot the last arrow, I told myself, ‘please, one more good arrow and we win’,” she said. “And I did it! What a great feeling.”
Avdeeva will face Tanja Gellenthien on Saturday for the chance to make the gold medal match in Lausanne. The 25-year-old from Denmark lost the final at the season opener to Nora Valdez of Colombia in a dramatic shoot-off at the first stage of the international circuit in Guatemala City.
After making her second straight final four, Gellenthien has sights set on the top step on the podium.
“I’m super, super happy,” she said. “There are always a couple of points I would like to shoot better. But making it to the big stage and having a chance to win a gold medal is my goal.”
A pair of accomplished compound archers will battle for the chance to win gold on the other side of the bracket. Linda Ochoa-Anderson, making her first final four as a member of the United States, and Spain’s Andrea Marcos, who missed Guatemala City because of a positive COVID-19 test, both appeared in top form on their way through the brackets.
“I’m really excited to be back,” Marcos said. “I was shooting really well, so of course I saw myself in the semifinals. From now on, anything can happen and it’s like a gift.”
Germany appeared positioned to be the sole country joining Russia in the recurve women’s final four before top seed Michelle Kroppen was eliminated at the end of a surprise run through the eliminations by France’s Audrey Adiceom. Their quarterfinal was tight five-setter that saw Audrey shoot her best match of the day, with no set below 28 points, to win, 6-4.
Adiceom missed the cut to compete for the French team that will look to win an Olympic spot later this summer, but withstood visible nerves on the shooting line to hit the biggest result of her career to date.
“I have so many feelings in my stomach! It’s like fireworks with so many colours,” Adiceom said. “I was so stressed, but I also tried to be so calm. There are so many different feelings. It’s so amazing to get to the semifinals here, in Lausanne.”
Olympic silver medallist Lisa Unruh, the highest recurve women’s seed remaining at number two, will instead fly the German flag on Sunday, first when she faces Gomboeva in the semifinals – her third straight match against a Russian archer after defeating Inna Stepanova and Elena Osipova in the fourth round and quarterfinals, respectively.
“It’s difficult to predict what can happen,” said Gomboeva, who is making her debut on the Hyundai Archery World Cup. “Just like in life, generally. I think I did a decent job and came well prepared here, so it allowed me to perform on that level.”
Competition continues in Lausanne with mixed team eliminations on Thursday afternoon.
Archers are listed in match order, with their seed in brackets. The first two archers face each other in the first semifinal, the second two in the second semifinal.
- Svetlana Gomboeva, Russia (19)
- Lisa Unruh, Germany (2)
- Audrey Adiceom, France (8)
- Ksenia Perova, Russia (20)