HOFER-DIELEN: from Lausanne 2008 to 2014 – fates reversed
At the Archery World Cup Final 2008 held in the Olympic capital, Patrizio finished second of the official competition. After beating Patrick COGHLAN (AUS) 114-113 in the semis, HOFER lost to world champion Dietmar TRILLUS (CAN) 10-9 in a shoot-off.
That year, Nathalie shot in an exhibition mixed double match alongside Olympic Champion Viktor RUBAN (UKR) against team Olympic Champion PARK Sung-Hyun (KOR) and Brit Chris MARSH, now World Archery’s Events Manager but who at the time was shooting for Switzerland before being competition manager for London 2012.
"In 2008, I was really stressed because I was shooting with the Olympic Champion, it's quite something," Nathalie recalled! "I was afraid our team would lose because of me. When warming up my arrows were going all around… but when I arrived on the field, I hit the first one and everything went well."
(Note: that 2008 exhibition match in mixed double was shot using the Hit/Miss system.)
"At first, I felt like being the eighth seed who's not really fitting in her place, but little by little I'm telling myself that I've got my chances", Nathalie added. "On one game, everything's possible!"
The recurve lady, who is a member of the local Lausanne club, will practise a little this morning, before watching the compound competition to soak up the atmosphere and get the feeling in the arena.
She is also looking forward to cheering up her teammates of the Swiss compound team, in which Kevin BURRI was preferred to the experienced HOFER to defend Switzerland's chances in compound men's individual matches.
At just twenty-three BURRI has been on the senior circuit since 2007, but the only final match he shot so far was team bronze at Varese 2007, where the Swiss trio lost. Here he received advice from fellow countryman Patrizio HOFER before facing first seed Reo WILDE (USA). Patrizio thinks his young teammate "has his chance, like all others!"
HOFER – not showing top form lately – is left with the mixed team match alongside young rookie Clementine DE GIULI for a feat for the honour on his land… But this is no time for disappointment: Patrizio appeared relaxed and happy to be here, feeling like home on the shores of Lake Geneva. "I'm feeling good, being back to Lausanne. It's pretty!"
The Swiss archer's season was not good enough to claim individual sport in Lausanne, but he is happy to be qualified for the mixed event. He knows Clementine and he will be facing strong opponents, but he also knows what they are capable of. They've never shot together, but have had the opportunity to practice a little bit together these last few days.
"If it's necessary, of course, I will give her some advice during the game," said Patrizio.
The young lady admitted her selection was a big surprise to her and she is a bit stressed now that the event is approaching: "I would have never dreamt of making a Final, and in addition here in Lausanne. I'm very happy to be here."
But she is confident with the mixed team with Patrizio, as she often competed in mixed events before when she was still shooting recurve and she's always felt good in such competition. Clementine was part of the mixed double at the Europeans in Armenia a few months ago, and there she received advice from Patrizio who was staying behind the team during eliminations.
None of the Swiss competitors starts as the favourite at Lausanne 2014, but they do have the advantage of shooting in front of a home crowd…
The 2014 Archery World Cup Final is on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 September. Compound competition is on the first day and recurve on the second. Read news, buy tickets and follow World Archery’s coverage on Facebook and @worldarchery on Twitter.