Ukraine find success at Nimes during crisis at home
With a shot at four team golds and two individual medals in Nimes, Ukraine already has the most successful recurve squad at these world indoors.
“It is hard to shoot knowing what is happening to Ukraine at the moment,” says Viktor RUBAN, Beijing 2008 Olympic champion. “I’m very worried. I hope an arrangement will be established so that East and West Ukraine can live together in peace as a united country again.”
The team’s recurve archers have not let the deadly riots affect their performance. On French soil, from the ranking round through eliminations, they have been superb.
“Shooting indoors is easier for us, we practice like this half the year, because of the cold Ukrainian winter,” explains RUBAN. “We live in different cities and train together at in Kiev before any major event. We prepared well this time and push each other a lot,” explains RUBAN.
This morning, PAVLOVA, Veronika MARCHENKO and Lidiia SICHENIKOVA secured a place in the team final when they outshot Belarus in the semis. No less was expected of MARCHENKO and PAVLOVA, junior team champions two years ago in Vegas.
Moments later, Viktor RUBAN, Heorhiy IVANYTSKYY and Markiyan IVASHKO won their own semifinal against Germany. Clear top seeds after the ranking round, the defending bronze medallists from Vegas will contest gold with Japan on Saturday live on Archery TV.
Their junior counterparts – boys and girls – qualified for finals, too. The girls have a gold medal to defend from two years ago, and the boys a silver.
The “domino effect” is a factor, says RUBAN. “Of course, we follow what our teammates are doing closely. To see other Ukrainian teams qualify for finals motivates us to get to the medal stages, too.”
The Ukrainian archery team is keen to continue the winning streak started by their biathlon women, who returned from Sochi with Olympic gold.
Follow live scores during this afternoon’s semifinals between Anastasia PAVLOVA and Aida ROMAN, followed by Viktor RUBAN against Brady ELLISON. Tomorrow’s team finals are live on Archery TV – with highlights following on Eurosport.
The World Archery Indoor Championships are underway in Nimes, France until 2 March 2014. Follow live scores, full results and World Archery’s coverage on Facebook and Twitter.