I’m already in mid-season form, says 2x Marrakesh winner Gellenthien
“I’ve had really good luck here,” confirmed an understated Braden Gellenthien, compound men’s winner of both the 2013 and 2014 Archery World Cup stages in Marrakesh.
One win might have been luck, but twice in a row, in the same environment, same conditions and the same, first event on the international indoor season calendar – that hints at something more.
“It has more to do with the timing rather than anything else. I don‘t really take a break like other archers do and I’m pretty much at it all year round. So when I come into this tournament I’m in mid-season form, while other people might still be working out which bow they’re going to use, or which arrows or combination,” explained Braden.
“I’ve already been through that process about a month and a half ago. I think that’s the key to the success.”
His last event was the World Cup stage in Medellin, Colombia in September. He then took a week off, to spend time relaxing and with friends, golfing, before getting straight “back into the grind”.
“I don’t like to practice outdoors and indoors at the same time,” he revealed. “I like to put my focus into one discipline.”
The 29-year-old archer from the USA has a long list of silverware won on both the indoor and outdoor circuits, including the outdoor Archery World Cup gold medal he took in Tokyo in 2012. But it’s indoor archery, says Braden, that he prefers.
“It’s nice to be able to aim at the middle, shoot a good shot and not be worried about calculating the wind as well. Outdoors you’re shooting to hit the 10, indoors you’re shooting not to miss it. It’s a change in focus,” he explained.
“You shoot a perfect arrow and you know where it will land in the face. It’s nice to come back to that. It’s just me and the target and my emotions to control. Outdoors is a lot more mentally tiring.”
Turning his eye towards Marrakesh 2015, and a potential third gold medal at the tournament in as many years, Braden said he thought the compound men’s field was the “stoutest” he’d seen to open the season to date.
The States pro’s explanation: The short, open-entry format of the Indoor Archery World Cup circuit.
“It opens the invitation to every archer in the world. So it’s truly the best that turn up. It’s the ones that are shooting well at the time and that think they have a chance at winning that come to these events,” said Braden.
“Outdoor World Cups, it’s a team focus. You might have someone shooting really hot at home, but they can’t make the team because they haven’t had the best year up until then. At the indoor events, you have all the best archers.”
Against such strong competition, how did Braden rate his chances of claiming Marrakesh gold number three?