Greek archer Psarra added to Olympic start list

26 July 2016
Rio de Janeiro (BRA)
Evangelia Psarra replaces the Ivory Coast competitor in the recurve women’s competition at Rio 2016.

Psarra’s recurve women’s quota place was originally assigned to Carla Frangilli, who had qualified a place for the Ivory Coast at the African Continental Qualification Tournament. The Ivorian National Olympic Committee withdrew the entry after the final deadline.

According to place reallocation procedures, the quota was assigned to the first eligible nation from the Final World Qualification Tournament, held as part of the third stage of the 2016 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya, Turkey.

That nation, represented by Evangelia Psarra, was Greece.

The Greek National Olympic Committee subsequently selected Psarra to take up the place at the Games. It means the 42-year-old will be the most experienced Olympic archer in Rio – and the only archery athlete appearing at their fifth Games. She previously competed at Sydney 2000, Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012.

(There are six archers shooting at their fourth Games in Rio, none other for their fifth.)

“I’m happy, proud, enthusiastic and anxious,” said Evangelia. “I think the words that describe the feeling of any athlete participating at the Olympic Games – even for the fifth time!”

Of the seven nations that made the final eight in the final qualifying tournament in Antalya, only one country would miss out on a place. It came down to a final position tiebreaker between Psarra and Adriana Martin, of Spain, who both lost their respective matches with four set points.

Martin scored 128 points in her match, Psarra 126 – and the Spaniard won the place.

Fast forward one month, and that two-point heartbreak is forgotten, as Psarra is, after all, to continue an Olympic run that now extends 16 years.

Her best Games result came in 2004 when, on home soil in Athens, she came eighth in the ranking round and finished seventh overall, only losing to the eventual Olympic Champion, Park Sung-Hyun, in the quarterfinals.

“That ancient stadium, my family and friends in the stands – and my performance there. It was home,” said Psarra.

The archery competition at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games begins with the ranking round on 5 August in the Sambodromo.