Egypt’s Ibrahim SABRY wins an incredible gold medal

The Junior Men competed in their elimination matches all the way to the gold medal final today at the Youth Olympic Games. Ibrahim SABRY from Egypt had the best competition of his life, beating the favourites for the gold medal. All the matches were played on the best of 5 sets of 3 arrows. Each set won gives 2 set points; each set tied awards 1 set point. The first athlete with 6 set points wins the match!

1/8 elimination round Rick van den OEVER (NED) vs Carlos RIVAS (ESP) Rick van den OEVER (NED) is 61st in the world and had two strong results recently. He was 9th at the 2010 Porec World Cup and 17th at the 2010 Rovereto European Championships. The Dutch archer, coached by the 2000 Olympic Bronze medallist and Athlete Role Model Wietse van ALTEN (NED), started the match with an x10, while his Spanish opponent seemed bothered by the pressure and shot only 9-5-7. Rick van den OEVER won the first set 27-21. The Dutch archer managed the bright weather conditions better and shot 10-10-10 in the second set to lead 4-0. He concluded the match with a victory in the third set 27-23. Benjamin NOTT (AUS) vs Tsukushi KOIWA (JPN) Benjamin NOTT (AUS) is 226th in the world ranking list with a 9th place at the Australian Open 2009 in Yamambat. KOIWA is not ranked, but he had the best start in this match at 9-9-9 (NOTT did 7-9-10). Both archers were grouping to the left side of the target, despite the fact that the field was not windy. KOIWA shot a bad 5 that cost him the second set. The Japanese archer still had inconsistencies in the third set to trail 2-4. He came back 4-4 with a victory 29-28 in the fourth set, but could not stay at that level in the last set. NOTT shot 7-x10-9, enough to beat KOIWA’s 5-7-10 and take the match 6-4. Joni HAUTAMAKI (FIN) vs Md. Emdad HAQUE MILON (BAN) HAQUE MILON is currently the best Recurve Junior Men archer in the elite world ranking list, thanks to a good series of results in the Asian Grand Prix. He is ranked 58th in the world and his top result is a 2nd place at the Dakkha Grand Prix in 2009. He also ranked 11th in Bangkok 2010, 8th in New Delhi 2009 and 16th in Tehran 2009. Moreover, HAQUE MILON went to the International Archery Training Centre in Egypt to prepare for the Singapore event thanks to Olympic Solidarity support. In this match, HAQUE MILON won the first set thanks to a bad 5 from HAUTAMAKI. Both archers increased their level throughout the match. HAQUE MILON improved from 24 in the first set to 25 in the second and 28 in the third, while HAUTAMAKI scored 22, 24 and finally 25. With these scores HAQUE MILON won in three straights sets, 6-0 and advanced to the quarterfinals. Frantisek HAJDUK (CZE) vs Bolot TSYBZHITOV (RUS) Both archers shot almost the same arrow to begin this match, only that HAJDUK’s was just in the 10 ring while TSYBZHITOV’s was a millimetre out. The Russian pursued with two 10s to win the first set 29-27. He kept shooting at this level and increased his lead to 4-0. Finally, the Russian was a little bit better than his opponent in the last set (9-8-8 to 7-9-8) to win the match 6-0. Mark NESBITT (GBR) vs Abdud DAYYAN (SIN) Abdud DAYYAN is 167th in the world thanks to a 17th place in Taipei City and 19th rank at the Asian Championships in Bali last year. He won the bronze medal two days ago in the Mixed Team event. His opponent in this match, Mark NESBITT (GBR), is ranked 72th in the world thanks to a 6th place in Rovereto. The spectators went wild as the local archer entered the field. The archers shot the same scores in the first set to tie. Abdud DAYYAN was warmly encouraged by the crowd and shot 26 points in the second set, but NESBITT was near perfect with 29 to lead 3-1. The archer from Singapore could have won the third set after NESBITT scored a 6. However DAYYAN was not consistent enough and the archers tied at 25-25 due to a last 10 of NESBITT. He opened again the next set with a 6 which cost him 2 set points this time. The score moved to 4-4. In the fifth and final set, both archers tied before the last arrow. NESBITT shot an 8 and the Singaporean archer found himself in the same situation as in the bronze medal final two days before. And once again, he was superb under pressure and shot a 10! Yagiz YILMAZ (TUR) vs Gregor RAJH (SLO) RAJH won the silver medal in the mixed team competition paired with Zoi PARASKEVOPOULOU (GRE). He took the lead in the first set of this match, 8-7-x10 to 7-9-8. The archers shot 26 points in the second set, but in the third YILMAZ increased his shooting with 8-9-10 (27) to take the set and come back at 3-3. The Slovenian archer immediately regained his lead, mainly because of a bad total of 22 from his opponent. This must have given confidence to RAJH, who concluded with his best score of the match, 28. YILMAZ had a 6 for only 24 which gave the victory to the Slovenian archer, 7-3. Teodor TODOROV (BUL) vs Ibrahim SABRY (EGY) TODOROV had a weak start at 8-6-6, while SABRY shot more consistently (7-9-10) to take the lead 2-0. The series of 6 continued for TODOROV in the second set, which he lost 22-27. The archer from Egypt increased his level as victory was within reach: he shot 29 to conclude the match and win 6-0. Axel MULLER (SUI) vs PARK Min Beom (KOR) The task promised to be hard for the no 15 from qualifications MULLER against the no 2 PARK. The Swiss started with a 6 but then improved to 8 and 9. PARK won the first set with 8-9-9. MULLER reacted in the second set with 26, but PARK surpassed him by a point. In the third set, the Swiss had an excellent start (9-x10) but lost any chance for a come-back when he scored a 5 in his last arrow. The Korean archer won 6-0. Quarterfinals Rick van den OEVER (NED) vs Benjamin NOTT (AUS) Van den OEVER started well the afternoon session with a 10! He continued with a 7 and an 8. In the meantime NOTT scored 9-9-9. He was more consistent to take the first set and lead 2-0. The Dutchman tied the match in the second set with 8-9-9, while the Australian had 7-7-9. Van den OEVER started the third set with another 10, while NOTT kept reaching the red ring with an 8. The Dutch athlete finished the set with x10-9 to take a 4-2 in set points. NOTT started the fourth set with a 10, while van den OEVER was caught by the wind for a 5. NOTT concluded this set with 10-9 to tie the match! In the final set, both archers extended a pair of 9s. Then van den OEVER scored 9 and NOTT 10. Then Dutchman put pressure with an x10. With his final arrow NOTT only scored 8. Van den OEVER won the set 28-27 and the match! Md. Emdad HAQUE MILON (BAN) vs Bolot TSYBZHITOV (RUS) TSYBZHITOV shot very well in the morning and continued in the same fashion: 9-9-x10 and x10-8-9 in the first two sets were sufficient to give him a 4-0 lead. HAQUE MILON, the young talent from Bangladesh raised his level with a 9-9-10, but the Russian was impressive with a 10-10-9 and clinched the match, 6-0! Abdud DAYYAN (SIN) vs Gregor RAJH (SLO) The Singaporean athlete was back on the field against RAJH. Both of them won a medal in the mixed team competition two days ago! The fans continued to cheer very loudly but DAYYAN started with 7-10-9, while the Slovenian scored 9-9-10 to take the first set. DAYYAN continued with a 9 but then made a mistake with a 4. In the meantime RAJH scored 8-9-9 and led 4-0. Finally, DAYYAN scored 8-8-7 in the third set, while RAJH did not shake with 8-10-9. Victory 6-0. Ibrahim SABRY (EGY) vs PARK Min Beom (KOR) The no 10 seed SABRY started with X10-10-9 to put pressure on the no 2 seed PARK who scored 9-9-10. SABRY led 2-0. Then both archers scored a 9 followed by 10 from PARK and another 9 from SABRY. PARK finished the second set with a 9, while SABRY shot 8. Match was tied at 2-2. The Korean had a superb group in the third set but he could only score 9-9-9. SABRY was better with 10-10-9 and led 4-2! Both athletes played with the line with a thrilling fourth set—a few millimetres in or out the 10-ring. The judge had to go for a closer look. Finally both archers earned 10-9-9. SABRY still led 5-3. PARK opened the last set with another 9; idem for SABBRY. PARK scored again a 9. SABRY found an x10! PARK put pressure with a 10 with his final arrow. SABBRY responded with a perfect x10 and upset the no 2 seed PARK, 7-3! What a level of excellence in this match! Semifinals Rick van den OEVER (NED) vs Bolot TSYBZHITOV (RUS) The leader from qualifications OEVER looked solid in his first set with 9-10-9. TSYBZHITOV was two points lower at 9-9-8, but came back with scores of 28 in both the second and the third set. Meanwhile the Dutch archer shot twice a total of 27. After an initial 2-0 lead, he now trailed 2-4. The athlete coached by Wietse van ALTEN knew he had to win the fourth set to stay in the game, and he did what was needed: 9-x10-10 to surpass the Russian’s scores of 8-x10-8. The set points were 4-4. Van den OEVER shot well in the third set, 10-9-9. His opponent was unlucky with 9-9-9, two of his arrows being just a millimetre short of the 10 ring. Rick van den OEVER won 6-4 and will shoot for the gold medal. Gregor RAJH (SLO) vs Ibrahim SABRY (EGY) Ibrahim SABRY was on a cloud after his victory over PARK: he started this match with a perfect set of 10-x10-10! He wasn’t as good in the second set (9-9-9), but it was enough considering RAJH had shot 10-7-7. SABRY led 4-0. RAJH certainly didn’t want to lose in three sets, and he shot his best series of the match. His score of 27 was soon matched by the Egyptian, who now led 5-1. There was no room for mistakes for RAJH. The young archer opened the fourth set with 9-10, but faltered on the last arrow: a 7. SABRY shot 9-9-8, enough to tie in this set and win the match 6-2. Bronze Medal Final Bolot TSYBZHITOV (RUS) vs Gregor RAJH (SLO) TSYBZHITOV had a strong start at 10-x10-9, while the archer from Slovenia, who had shot four 7s in his last match, suffered yet another 7 in his first set. The Russian led 2-0, and increased his lead to 4-0 after the second set (8-10-9 to 9-9-7). TSYBZHITOV shot another total of 27 in the third set. As for RAJH, he shot just as he had previously: 9-7-10. He will regret this 7 that allowed the Russian to win the set, the match (6-0) and the medal! Russia will celebrate a second bronze medal after that of Tatiana SEGINA the previous day in the girls’ competition. Gold Medal Final Rick van den OEVER (NED) vsIbrahim SABRY (EGY) Ibrahim SABRY went on shooting incredibly well, opening the match with 9-x10-x10. Rick van den OEVER was supported by several Dutch athletes from other sports. He scored 28 to trail 0-2. In the second set, his first arrow at 7 made the difference, since all the other scores from both archers were 9s. SABRY led 4-0. In the third set, van den OEVER scored 8-9-10. SABRY had 9-9 in his first two arrows and so had the opportunity to win with a 10. The Egyptian archer took his time to focus and released his arrow in the last second. It was an unbelievable x10 on the cross! Ibrahim SABRY won the gold medal and kissed the ground in delight! This concluded the first Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. See you in 2014 for the next edition of this event! Vanahé ANTILLE/Didier MIEVILLE World Archery Communication