Meet the Team: Defending Champs Lidiia, Veronika and Anastasia
As part of their preparation for Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Lidiia, Veronika and Anastasia travelled to Antalya, Turkey on 10 February. There they alternated between the Olympic 70- and indoor 18-metre ranges at their first training camp of the season.
During the worlds in Copenhagen, Veronika won Ukraine its only spot for this year’s Olympic Games. In Antalya, on the same field as their training camp and at the third stage of the 2016 Archery World Cup, they will have one last chance to win a quota place as a team – and up their women’s squad number in Rio to three.
While working non-stop on what they made very clear as their main goal for the year, the World Archery Indoor Championships in Ankara, Turkey offer the chance to compete against the world’s best on the competition field.
“Antalya will be our last chance to qualify for Rio as a team. We went there to set our minds for both Rio and Ankara and because it’s cold in Ukraine”, 21 year-old Anastasia said.
“We have good facilities in Kiev, but during this time of the year we can only shoot indoors. Sometimes we just prefer being outside.”
In Las Vegas in 2012, shooting as juniors, Veronika and Anastasia won their first recurve team title.
Two years later in Nimes, now competing seniors and joined by Lidiia, the three Physical Education students beat Germany to gold by 14 points, 234-220. Then, recurve team matches were decided on cumulative score.
Arriving mentally strong in Ankara and with high expectations, the trio were quick to reveal their secret as team.
“We are young, strong and we like winning,” said Anastasia, translating for her teammates.
“Being good friends and all being a similar age makes it easier for us. We know each other well and we know how to support each other in the line. It’s easy for us to work as a team.”
In Ankara, a city they said was similar to Kiev in terms of space and architecture, the three women want to defend their title.
“We don't mind which team we shoot against. We just care about winning and making it to the finals. Then we will see,” said Anastasia. She smiled as she spoke, glancing across to her teammates.
Alongside taking a second consecutive team gold, Lidiia, Veronika and Anastasia said they came to Ankara to test themselves, their level and their training ahead of the year’s main event against international opponents.
“We came here to give our best. We are accustomed to these kind of tournaments and although we had a different preparation in Antalya shooting outdoors, we are confident about what we can give here.”
“We want to reach the top places, improve our scores and, of course, win medals. It’s all part of the process.”
Independently of the results during this week, the Ukrainian ladies will go back to their hometown and prepare for their second training camp of the year, which will either be held in Kiev or, again, see them travel back to the place they’ll want to win those final two Olympic places… Antalya.