Tanja Gellenthien gets over the hump with gold in Lausanne

Tanja Gellenthien celebrates gold at the second stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2021.

Tanja Gellenthien won her first-career gold medal on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit at the second stage of this year’s international circuit at the World Archery Excellence Centre in Lausanne.

The compound woman from Denmark improved on her runner-up finish at the season opener last month in Guatemala City to defeat Spain’s Andrea Marcos, 143-141, and book her ticket to the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Yankton later this year.

“There are no words to describe it,” Gellenthien said. “I was in the finals quite a few times, but I’ve always gone away with silver medals. And now I am so, so happy.”

In a match affected by heavy wind and shaky nerves, Gellenthien outlasted Marcos over 15 arrows. She took advantage of eights from her opponent, the reigning European Champion, in the first and fifth ends – and delivered a nine with her final arrow to secure the victory.

It was a welcome result for the 25-year-old, who lost in dramatic fashion at stage one to Nora Valdez of Colombia. In the tiebreak that decided that final and shooting second after Gellenthien hit a 10 of her own, Valdez stepped to the line in Guatemala City and delivered something even better, clipping the tiny grey X that marks the very centre of the target to secure the victory.

The conditions were tougher this weekend but so was Gellenthien’s performance, especially given the challenging conditions.

“I just tried to follow my game plan,” Gellenthien said. “It was to make good and fast shots. Because the wind here is really tricky today, so I knew anything can happen. But I stuck to my game plan and it worked very well.”

Marcos, competing in her first stage of the year after missing Guatemala City due to her pre-flight COVID-19 test returning positive, appeared unbalanced in her first end, shooting a 27 that put her in a deficit for much of the match. 

She had levelled the score at 114 and remained in contention with three arrows left to shoot, but couldn’t close and, with her second eight of the match, left the door open for Gellenthien to take the victory she so desperately craved. It wasn’t a win for the Spaniard – but a podium is certainly better than being forced to stay at home.

“I am really happy after what happened before Guatemala,” Marcos said. “Of course, I wanted to win gold. But it's a very difficult field because of the wind. I am really happy with the silver, as Tanja shot really well.”

While it wasn’t the final outcome she was looking for, Marcos has to be a favourite to defend her European title next month nonetheless.

“I am looking forward to Antalya,” Marcos said. “My goal there will be to repeat such a result.”

The bronze medal match came down to the final arrow as well, as reigning World Archery Champion Natalia Avdeeva beat Linda Ochoa-Anderson by a point in her first outing of the season. It was, as bronzes so often are, the highest-scoring match delivered by the compound women’s final four in the arena.

Competition continues in Lausanne with the recurve finals on Sunday.

The podium