Hansen, Huston win Marrakesh men’s titles with impressive finishes
Two men’s gold finals in Marrakesh, and two men’s finals won by archers still in the junior ranks. Great Britain’s Patrick Huston and Stephan Hansen, the reigning World Archery Champion, picked up their first Indoor Archery World Cup gold medals, aged just 19 and 20.
Second-seed recurve man in the tournament, Patrick stepped into the Moroccan finals arena with a plan.
“I’d rehearsed shooting fast before the match. As soon as his arrow was gone and the buzzer changed, I lifted my bow and took my shot,” he said. “I think that helped.”
For the first two sets of the match, though, the Brit looked uncertain.
He started with sets of 28, 29, while his opponent, indoor specialist Matteo Fissore posted a pair of perfect 30s. Four-nil down, and on the ropes, Huston found his groove.
“When I’d got my back tension sorted out, I shot 90 straight,” he explained.
The proceeding surge, nine straight 10s and three perfect sets to close out the match, coincided with a series of eights from Fissore that flipped the advantage.
First 4-2, then 4-4, then 6-4 – and Huston had won the match.
“Medalling at an Indoor World Cup was on my list for the year. I’ve crossed that out at the first tournament,” Patrick said, while pointing to a line in his archery journal. The cadet gold medallist at the Wuxi youth worlds in 2013 keeps written record of all his goals, performances and achievements.
A big win for Huston – and for Hansen, though less of a breakthrough, considering Stephan won the World Archery Championships in 2015.
The finals in Marrakesh brought back some of that winning attitude.
“I just had the good feeling. It was just a bit like in the World championships. It was my moment,” Hansen said. “I was confident.”
The Dane started with a 30, dropped a single nine in the second end and a further one in the fifth, finishing on 148 for the 15-arrow, 18-metre match. Experienced Peter Elzinga, Hansen’s opponent from the Netherlands, didn’t settle and couldn’t keep up.
Elzinga had dropped two points after six arrows and more over the back half for a total of 144.
The four point gap was convincing enough for Stephan to take his first Indoor Archery World Cup gold. Though the 20-year-old did win bronze in the senior competition at the world indoors in ’14.
In preparation for the indoor season, he’d made some adjustments.
“I changed to a back tension release. That helped me a lot, especially in the finals. Indoor is all about pressure, and with the back tension I can control the pressure,” he explained.