Plihon driven to repeat impressive debut year

22 October 2014
Lausanne (SUI)
After a season that saw Plihon collect individual and team gongs and a World Cup Final cap, the Frenchman faces high expectations in year two

Pierre Plihon competed at his first international in the opening stage of the 2014 Archery World Cup in Shanghai, where he collected silver. That’s right: a World Cup podium in his debut.

Since then, he’s won a team gold at the European Championships in Echmiadzin and shot the World Cup Final, this year in the Olympic Capital of Lausanne.

“This first year was crazy,” admits Pierre. “It was an honour to represent my country and do well so quickly.” Although he didn’t repeat that success he had at Shanghai in 2014, there were plenty of positives for Pierre to take into the World Cup offseason.

That World Cup offseason is the Indoor World Cup on-season. Something Pierre is quite accustomed to, as he has become Assistant General Manager of Nîmes Archery Club.

Nîmes’ European Tournament was one of the founding events of the international indoor circuit.

Following a little break, Pierre will be back on the practice field and is relishing the extra practice time he is now able to commit to after turning into a more full-time archer. He left his previous job to commit to training and his club.

“I have a little voice in my head that tells me I cannot succeed. That motivates me to continue to improve and work hard,” he says. It is a method that may seem unfamiliar, but Pierre is confident he’ll see the benefits over the coming years.

Plihon’s meteoric rise on to the international scene caught many off guard, but the 24 year old doesn’t like to analyse his own performances competition by competition: “I prefer analysing my performance on a yearly basis as you get a more rounded outlook.”

Looking back at his first international year in the sport, Plihon can be proud.

He already achieved some set goals, which he’ll replicate and evolve in 2015. Like most athletes, the Olympics remain a large part of his thought process going into a new season.

“Every year we have trials to get the best team for France,” Plihon explains. “If I’m still there this year the Olympics will be a real possibility. The World Archery Championships in Copenhagen and the Baku European Games will go towards France’s Olympic quotas.”

Plihon’s drive and ambition is greater than ever as he prepares for his second international season. He has already started working on the areas he believes are currently his weakest: “I need to improve my physical strength significantly and mentally I could be stronger, although that is less important at this time.”

It will be an interesting year for the Frenchman with the pressure of repeating that impressive debut season – with World Cup stage appearance and Final invitation – praying on his mind.

His preparation during the offseason will be an important factor in just how well Pierre copes with the high expectations in 2015.