Bangladesh to shoot for first gold medal in World Cup competition
Diya Siddique and Ruman Shana defeated Canada’s Stephanie Barrett and Brian Maxwell, 5-3, in the recurve mixed team semis to deliver Bangladesh its first-ever international gold medal match, which will take place on Sunday morning at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne.
“I‘m so excited – I don’t even understand it’s a final,” Siddique said. “It’s so shocking!”
Shana, who qualified Bangladesh its first quota place for an Olympic Games at the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch, continued his series of trailblazing performances for his country in Switzerland. There, he beat experienced Italian Mauro Nespoli in the bronze medal match and put Bangladesh on the championship podium for the first time.
Two years and a pandemic later, he continues to press Bangladesh on the archery map even further.
“I don’t know how to explain it. It’s the first time Bangladesh made the final,” Shana said. “I’m really happy and grateful to my coach, my teachers, my family and my partner, who was supporting me so much.”
Win or lose, with a guaranteed silver this is Bangladesh’s best international result to date.
Bangladesh’s final is no fluke. The pair were excellent in matchplay.
Shana and Siddique beat top-seeded Germany, 5-1, in the second round and then Spain in a shoot-off. They shot a perfect set of 40 points in the semifinal against Canada and looked like they belonged throughout, despite being the technical underdogs.
As the number 17 seed, the duo will have to pull off one last upset – against the second-seeded Netherlands – to capture the gold.
“We know we are a good team, and this can help us in the Olympic preparations,” Gaby Schloesser said. “I can say that I’m really happy, and I can see Sjef is also. I’m already excited about Sunday.”
This Dutch partnership took a bronze medal at the last world championships.
The Netherlands advanced to the gold medal match in the compound mixed team event as well. World number two Mike Schloesser and Jody Vermeulen will face Tanja Gellenthien and Stephan Hansen of Denmark after the two teams defeated Great Britain and the United States, respectively, to secure the final berths.
“We actually thought that we lost the semifinal,” Hansen said after the match. “Our coach said they won because they had an arrow that was close. We were like ‘okay, we’re in the bronze medal match, whatever. And then we suddenly had another chance and we took it’.”
The USA will take on Great Britain, represented by a pair of Paralympic archers preparing for Tokyo 2020, in the compound mixed team bronze medal match. The recurve bronze will be decided between Canada and Mexico.
Both bronze and gold medal matches in the mixed team events will take place in the arena this weekend.