World No 1 Seb Bests Mister Perfect In Ankara
His compound men’s team, in which Seb was shooting both first and last to protect his less experienced teammates, beat Russia in an all-nine shoot-off, in which neither team found the middle in the tiebreaker – but France had an arrow closer to the 10-ring.
“We shot too many nines but in the end we didn’t care about the scores,” said Peineau after that match. “This competition is the first selection for my brother-in-law [Fabien Delobelle] and third for Jean Philippe [Boulch]. So it’s a new team and a good one.”
Despite the arena practice, world number one Seb said he still felt the pressure stepping out into the arena for a second time. His opponent, the world number two, already won a world title at the outdoor championships in Belek in 2013. For Seb, Ankara brought a chance at a first.
Mister Perfect, Mike, opened with a perfect 30. Peineau put one out, but by the end of the second end, after Schloesser let two shots leak into the nine, the two were level. They stayed neck-and-neck through the third, then Seb won the upper hand with three sweet 10s in the fourth end.
His one-point advantage would last until the final regulation arrow.
Mike closed first, clipping the bottom of the 10-ring and bringing his match total to 145. Peineau needed a 10 to win, but his arrow floated much too low, into the nine. He, too, totalled 145 for the 15 arrows.
The world title, and last match of the Ankara 2016 World Archery Indoor Championships, went to a shoot-off.
“I was stressed at the beginning,” admitted Seb after the final. “But then I focused on my strategy, my feeling, in all aspects of my technique. I wanted to shoot a good arrow because it was a tough match with Mike.”
Schloesser let loose first. It wasn’t a good shot and it didn’t land well in the target. High, left and far outside the 10-ring, in the closest-to-the-middle decider, it left Seb a lot of room.
Peineau’s arrow didn’t find the 10, either – but it was better than Mike’s.
“In the last end I shot two nines, so I can’t believe I’m still World Champion,” said Seb, relieved with the favourable after he missed the chance to close the match in regulation.
“My team was great. They supported me all the way through and it was fantastic to have them there in the stands.”
Silver medallist Mike, who won his world outdoor title against a Frenchman in 2013, took silver in Ankara.
“I have struggled a lot in medal matches lately. That was the first time in a while that I’ve shot well and, although I lost, I’m happy about that,” he said, introspectively.
“Next time is mine.”
“My goal was to get 150,” the first-time international athlete said. “I was shooting good and the match was very high-quality, though.”