Ukraine beats reigning champs, launches run at final

28 July 2015
Copenhagen (DEN)
Both top seeded compound teams at the Copenhagen worlds left the field prematurely.

The defending champions from Colombia lost early – and against the lowest seeded team still in the event.

Sixteen-ranked Ukraine made the difference in the third end when the European ladies shot an excellent 58 despite the wind, against just 52 from the favourite Colombians.

“It’s amazing, because it’s Colombia, the goddesses of shooting,” Olena Borysenko exclaimed. “We have so many emotions right now, I don’t know how to describe it. We’re very happy to be in the best eight teams in the world.”

The Ukrainians would do far better than top eight.

They got past Denmark by a point, 220-219, preventing a home favourite appearance in front of a cheering public at Christiansborg Palace during Saturday’s compound finals.

In the semis, Venezuala was dispatched by two points – and Ukraine earned themselves a finals berth, despite some strong wind: “The weather is so difficult. We have experience in this weather but it’s crazy now, this wind is crazy!”

That didn’t seem to stop them.

On the other side of the field, the Colombian men had avenged their female counterparts – and played the Ukraine’s role – by beating number one ranked Korea, 233-228. But that was as long as their run would last.

Korea’s ladies outshot their men in both result, beating Great Britain in the first and the South Africa in the second, and score – as their first round match was the highest on the field at 235. All but four arrows landed in the 10-ring.

A collapse in the semis was all that stopped the Koreans. Against the Netherlands, Kim Yun Hee, Choi Bomin and Seol Dayeong scored a poor 52 with their final six arrows and ended up with a three-point deficit, 222-218.

“It’s my first senior event,” said 17-year old Evelien Groenevald. “I’m really surprised and happy. My teammates are awesome, they gave me great support and it’s just good to know I can rely on them.”

A mix of experience and youth seems to pay off in the Dutch team. “It’s the second time in a row that we’ve reach the finals,” 38-year old Irina Markovic explained. “We also did it in Belek.”

“We did a great job as the team here. It could have been better but the wind is a tricky thing. We are glad we managed to hit the target at the right time.”

Two rounds passed smoothly for reigning men’s champions Martin Damsbo, Stephan Hansen and Patrick Laursen, representing the home side.

The Danes found strong opposition in Team Canada, a squad made of former individual world champions Dietmar Trillus (2007) and Christopher Perkins (2011), with veteran Kevin Tataryn.

 “Anybody can do anything in these conditions,” said Dietmar. “It’s windy and it’s tight.”

The Canada versus Denmark match was shot on a show target for television and live spectators.

“It is actually probably harder than all the way up the field, more wind at the target – as at the shooting line it is more protected.”

The Canadians had survived a shoot-off in quarterfinal against second seed South Africa.

They took the lead in the first end against Denmark and they would never let it go, winning 231-227. It brought an opportunity to shoot for gold against Iran, who defeated Italy 226-224 in the other semi.

 “We will shoot the best we can, it’s probably going to be sunny, and rainy, and sunny,” Trillus predicted. “Iran’s a good team, they are solid. They’ve been around for quite a while.”

This season, Iran’s compound men have reemerged on the Archery World Cup stage.

Denmark will shoot against Italy for the third medal at stake in the compound men’s team event.

Martin will hope the bad arrows he said he had during the semifinal match don’t show up during the final: “With the wind, sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you’re unlucky.”

“It’s really exciting that we’re still in the medal matches, it will be fun to shoot there. Hoping for the best!”