Five archers who impressed at the Europeans in Munich

The Munich 2022 European Championships

In between stage two and stage three of this year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup, 296 archers from 40 countries travelled to Munich for the 2022 European Championships.

It was an extra-special time for archery and the city – the event visits in the year that Munich is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of hosting the Olympics. It was also at those Games in 1972 that archery returned to the Olympic programme after a 52-year hiatus.

Some of last week’s matchplay in the arena, constructed on the site of the world-famous Oktoberfest, was Olympic-quality.

Mister Perfect, Mike Schloesser, continued his dominant run, taking the European individual title for the first time to complete a career grand slam, while the recurve competition saw some familiar and some not-so-familiar faces climb the podium.

In addition to the continental medals, quota places for the next European Games, scheduled for Krakow-Malopolska in 2023, were awarded.

Here are the five archers who we think impressed most in Munich.

Miguel Alvarino Garcia at Munich 2022 after winning gold

1. Miguel Alvarino Garcia

Okay, so the new world number one won gold, taking down Florian Unruh in the recurve men's individual final to disappoint the host nation fans packed inside the finals arena. But it’s not only because he won that he was impressive, it's because he overcame shoot-offs and had a tough path to the final, despite his second-place seeding with a 681-point qualifying round.

He dealt with a tiebreak in just his second match in Germany, hitting a near-perfect 10 to beat Italian Federico Musolesi's 10 and then defeated his first home nation archer in the quarterfinals, Moritz Wieser, in straight sets. An emotional semifinal against teammate Danny Castro followed (7-1) before Unruh was undone in the final (6-2).

“I’m shooting the best of my career,” said the 2015 Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion. “It’s the best Miguel today, but I hope tomorrow will be better.”

Isabelle Carpenter realising she has won the compound women's individual title at Munich 2022

2. Izzy Carpenter

Carpenter surprised even herself with her win in Munich.

“I never ever thought this would happen, honestly,” said the 28th seed directly after her final. “This is absolutely amazing, this is my first senior European Championship so even to be here I’m just so happy. The more matches I shot and the further I got through I realised, ‘okay, I could actually make this final’."

That final saw her defeat Sophie Dodemont by two points (143-141) after the British archer had gone two ahead after the first end (29-27).

Carpenter adds another title in a resurgent season for the British squad, which already has two archers (Ella Gibson and Bryony Pitman) qualified for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

Rick van der Ven at Munich 2022

3. Rick van der Ven

Every second counts in archery and the Netherlands’ Rick van der Ven certainly made the most of his time on the clock.

A so-called ‘hero arrow’ – his last of the day and the tournament in Munich – landed dead-centre in the recurve mixed team final, ensuring he and Gaby Schloesser matched Germany on points in the set, 38-38, and took the European title, 5-3.

The shot itself was pretty but there was more going on. Under the strong sun and with a packed home crowd cheering on the German duo, Gaby went to shoot the first of the last two arrows for the Dutch duo. They both needed to be 10s to ensure the draw.

As she went to the line, she noticed the timing clock had frozen. A delay ensued while it was fixed, with an umbrella brought out to keep the sun off.

“It’s really easy to go into negative thinking,” said Sjef van den Berg on the world feed commentary duties during the pause. "If you’re standing for long enough your nerves will drop down a bit, but then you’re dropped back into reality.”

That reality saw Gaby and then Rick – with the seconds ticking away – deliver the goods. Impressive.

Gulnaz Coskun winning at Munich 2022

4. Gulnaz Coskun

Coskun, now world number 14, took silver in the recurve women's team event and the individual European title.

The two events were linked though – both featured German archers and both finals pitted the 22-year-old Turkish archer against Michelle Kroppen.

On Sunday morning, Turkey recovered from a two-set deficit to force a shoot-off for the team title but came up just short, Coskun delivering the seven that ensured they were out of contention. Just four hours later, she had a shot at redemption – and grasped it with both hands.

She looked comfortable as she won individual gold, her four-set victory ending with an almost-perfect 29.

“I am so, so happy I was hoping for this moment for a long time," said the archer who was the bronze medallist back in 2018. “It’s my dream come true.”

Katharina Bauer at Munich 2022

5. Katharina Bauer

Bauer is delivering important arrows all over the place at the moment, none more so than in Germany’s two winning performances in the Munich finals arena.

She opened for the German recurve women’s team that took gold and won individual bronze in the most convincing match of the day, beating Austria's Elisabeth Straka in straight sets. The European Champion trio had already won two silver medals on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit this season – and Bauer, who comes from Munich, has become integral to the team’s success.