Amanda Mlinaric gaining confidence with every victory

Amanda Mlinaric shoots at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne.

Amanda Mlinaric’s jitters are becoming increasingly unfounded.

The compound woman from Croatia has already collected two world-ranking event titles this season, and yet she continues to mention how nervous she is.

“I was afraid that I had lost my confidence in the finals arena, which took me a long time to gain,” Mlinaric explained ahead of last week’s second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne

After a year without competitions, she needed to remind herself that she could shoot as well as she had before the pandemic.

Mlinaric’s first victory of the year, at the first European Grand Prix in March, should have put those fears to rest. Competing on home soil in Porec, she battled blustering winds to convert a deficit in the fourth end into a seven-point victory

Mlinaric then added to her bounty with a second individual gold medal earlier this month at another world ranking event, the Veronica’s Cup, in Kamnik, Slovenia

Her qualification round of 704 was 27 points up on her nearest competitor, shooting a back half of 355 out of possible 360 points, and an eventual second seven-point victory in the final, this time over Italian archer Elisa Bazzichetto, added significant world-ranking points to her name.

After which she once again discussed how nervous she was. 

“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,” Mlinaric said after Slovenia. “But I’m happy – it turned out well in the end.”

An understatement, to say the least. Mlinaric is as formidable as ever, despite an early exit in Lausanne, and the 19-year-old will be a favourite to podium at the upcoming Antalya 2021 European Championships

If anything, it’s her opponents who should be nervous. 

"After I won Porec, I reminded myself that I can shoot just as strong as I used to before the pandemic, and I confirmed it at the Veronica’s Cup,” Mlinaric said. “It sure is a mental boost ahead of larger competitions.”

Competition at the European Archery Championships in Antalya starts with qualification on Tuesday.