Germany claims first men’s team gold with dominant victory in Lausanne
Germany won its first recurve men’s team gold medal in the 15-year history of the Hyundai Archery World Cup with a dominant victory over Spain, which was looking to make it back-to-back titles in the event, in Lausanne. Italy’s recurve women and a mixed pair from the Netherlands joined Germany atop the podiums at the second stage of the international circuit in Lausanne.
“Finally, a World Cup win for the German team,” said Florian Unruh, who was in a team that won a silver medal – one of the two previous team finals of Germany – in 2015. “Now we can go in confident for the [Olympic] quota tournament.”
Unruh, Maximilian Weckmueller and Johannes Maier defeated Spain’s Miguel Alvarino Garcia, Daniel Castro and Pablo Acha in straight sets to improve on their promising bronze medal last month at the first stage of the season.
Spain, which won gold for the first time in the 15-year history of the event in Guatemala City, was no match for Germany in the arena built next to the World Archery Excellence Centre in the Olympic capital. Whether due to nerves or the changing light reflecting all over the competition field, the Spaniards fell into an early hole from which they could not recover.
Germany, meanwhile, was strong throughout the match – especially in the third. Already cushioned by a two-set lead, the Germans finished with 58 points to Spain’s wayward 51 to conclude a commanding victory.
“It feels great,” said Maier, who replaced Christoph Breitbach in the German line-up from one month ago. “We didn’t expect it at all.”
Italy’s Lucilla Boari, Chiara Rebagliati and Tatiana Andreoli took a big step toward qualifying for the Olympics with their 5-1 victory over Mexico in the recurve women’s team event. While quota places weren’t up for grabs in Lausanne, neither team has secured its bid to the Tokyo 2020 Games scheduled for later this summer.
By defeating Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia, Aida Roman and Ana Vazquez under the pressurised circumstances of a gold medal match, the Italian trio leaves this event brimming with confidence ahead of the final qualification opportunity in Paris, which is just one month away.
“We are really happy,” Rebagliati said. “For me, it has been two years since I won the gold medal in Berlin with the team, so coming back here for the final was a great feeling.”
The Netherlands claimed its second mixed team gold medal in as many days, following Mike Schloesser and Jody Vermeulen’s compound win over Denmark in the final yesterday. (Schloesser, of course, also won the individual title in Lausanne.)
No longer under the radar and with the mixed team format making its Olympic debut in two months and two days from now at Tokyo 2020, the Dutch duo – who also won bronze together at the last world championships – has painted themselves as something of a contender for a pairs medal at the Games.
“Obviously, we’ve shown not just other people but also ourselves that we are worth a medal on the world stage,” Sjef said. “I think there will be no difference at the Olympics.”
Competition continues on Sunday afternoon in Lausanne with the recurve final fours.