SCHUH back from year-long injury absence
During a year of absence due to shoulder surgery, the experienced archer missed two huge competitions in in her home nation of France: the Paris 2013 World Cup Final and the Indoor World Championships in Nîmes earlier this year – 11 years after she became champion at the same venue at the age of 18.
“My shooting is going well this week and I feel good,” says the 29-year-old. “I qualified among the top 4 French archers for a reason.”
SCHUH is training as much as before the surgery – an average of 200-250 arrows per day. Little by little she has recovered her power, though at 35 pounds drawweight she is two down on the weight she was pulling pre-surgery. She feels the difference, especially when shooting in the wind.
A new generation of French archers have joined her in Shanghai this year: Noémie BRIANNE, Aurélie CARLIER and Laurie LECOINTRE, who placed among the top 4 at the national selections. Noémie, 20, has been at the National Training Centre for two years and already competed last year at the same event. Laurie, 21, is making the jump from the junior ranks – while 18-year-old Aurélie dominated everyone during French selections.
“This is good experience for the new girls, and for Aurélie to prepare her junior season,” says SCHUH. “The fact that I am here is a plus as I have a lot of experience to bring to the team.”
SCHUH is happy to see these young archers emerge, something France had been yearning for. “But I’m not going to give up so easily” she laughs! To qualify to shoot for France here she shot 659 points, one of her best – including performances before the injury.
China is a lucky country for SCHUH: “I don’t remember how many medals I’ve won here…” The Beijing Olympic Games in 2008 brought her the Olympic team bronze, and at the Shanghai World Cup, she won individual silvers in 2009 and 2011.
She’s set no goal this time around. She doesn’t feel the need to win to show everyone that she’s back. Self-admittedly the “least powerful on the field”, she just hopes it won’t be too windy.
With this year to prepare for 2015, when she’ll focus on Olympic qualification, SCHUH’s made real strategy changes. (Instead of shooting at the end of time each end, she starts as the buzzer goes.) Her goal is to reach Rio without further injury, because she’s still got so much more to achieve.
Bérengère SCHUH France
Recurve woman World ranking: 46
Born 13 June 1984
Best world ranking: 4 (June 2010)
Olympic highlights: London 2012 top 8, Beijing 2008 team bonze
World Cup Finals: Edinburgh 2010 bronze
World Cup Stages: Shanghai 2011, 2009 silver; Santa Domingo 2008 bronze
Other: Former European and World Indoor Champion