Preview: European Grand Prix gets underway in Bulgaria

The European Grand Prix in Porec, Croatia in 2021

A recurve-laden, mainly-European, field of nearly 250 archers are ready to take the field for the first leg of the 2022 European Grand Prix in Plovdiv, Bulgaria this week (4 to 7 May).

Talent is dripping across the entry list of the world ranking event in all four competitions.

World number two Mete Gazoz leads the recurve men's pack, part of a large Turkey team who have made the short hop from the country across to Bulgaria which sits on its northern border.

All four top-ranked archers at the event are from Turkey, with the squad looking to improve on their performance at the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup opening stage in Antalya where they picked up one medal.

Gazoz is joined by world number 10 Nicholas D'Amour, while other names to watch out for include Jarno de Smedt (world 26), Dan Olaru (22) and Gazoz's teammate, Samet Ak (33).

Another storyline to keep an eye on is Evangelia Psarra, the Greek archer who is attempting to qualify for a record seventh Olympic Games - with her daughter, Maria. Both will be competing in Plovdiv in the recurve women which features world number 27 Laura van der Winkel, fresh off of her silver medal in Antalya, alongside Yasemin Anagoz (15), who will be looking to find her form in 2022, plus Gaby Schloesser (20) and Alexandra Mirca (23).

The smallest field of competitors - with just 19 - is the compound women, but it could also be one of the most intriguing with the world number 17, Croatia's Amanda Mlinaric, recent bronze mixed team medallist at Antalya, going up against Mariya Shkolna (27) and the Turkish pair of Yesim Bostan (13) and Ayse Bera Suzer (23). Mlinaric is also competing in Slovenia this week at the 2022 edition of the Veronica's Cup.

Turkey are also strong in the compound men, with Yakup Yildiz the highest world-ranked, in 12th spot, followed by Jozef Bosansky (13) and Sergio Pagni (32).

Plovdiv will also mark the first European Grand Prix test for coach Wietse van Alten, after he was announced as the new Belgium national team coach in March.

With sun and only very light winds forecast throughout the competition week, Plovdiv could see some ideal conditions for optimum shooting.

Laura van der Winkel at Antalya 2022

Key information

What’s happening? A world ranking event from 3 to 7 May in Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

What’s at stake? World ranking points.

What’s the story? This almost entirely-European field of archers are preparing for the next stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup, in Gwangju later this month, and if they're not already, maybe also hoping to force themselves into their national teams, with the European Championships set for June in Munich, Germany.

Schedule

  • Wednesday 4 May: Qualification
  • Thursday 5 May: Individual Eliminations
  • Friday 6 May: Team & Mixed Team Eliminations
  • Saturday 7 May: Finals

How to watch

The broadcast schedule is set to be confirmed for 2022.

Live scores will be available on the World Archery website and there will be coverage on World Archery’s digital platforms throughout the competition, plus the World Archery Europe mini-site.

Who’s competing?

These are the top-ranked archers shooting at the first leg of the European Grand Prix in Plovdiv:

186 archers from 25 countries, representing 24 national teams and 14 clubs have registered for Bulgaria.

Competition at the world ranking event in Plovdiv starts with qualification on Wednesday.

Competitions