Schloesser overcomes finals fear to win Odense title

24 September 2016
Odense (DEN)
Mister Perfect won matches against Martin Damsbo, Domagoj Buden and Seppie Cilliers to take Odense gold.

Since his first appearance on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit in 2011, Mike Schloesser has become one of the most consistent compound archers in the world.

Carrying the nickname “Mister Perfect”, which he earned in 2015 in Nimes by shooting a perfect 600 out of a possible 600 points for the indoor ranking round, he qualified for his first Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Mexico City in 2015.

Mike lost his first match at that tournament, to host nation archer Mario Cardoso. That match, which Mike described as terrible, caused him to become depressed and develop a terrible fear for finals.

The top ranked compound man in Odense, Mike wanted to beat the fear – and he succeeded!

“I’m feeling good,” said Mike, smiling. “I made a lot of really good steps, still not there because my last arrow against Seppie Cilliers was still a bit rusty, but I’m getting better and better. I’m pretty sure I will have everything under control next time.”

Against Seppie, Mike shot probably one of his best final matches. He shot three consecutive perfect 30s – nine 10s in a row – and only landed one arrow, a seven, out of the gold.

“That last shot was just the summary of what I had all year. I don’t know why, but I just couldn’t execute a great shot,” he explained.

Before he celebrated and felt the relief of becoming Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion, for the first time ever, Mike admitted he had to deal, more mentally than physically, with the pressure of his first match against local man Martin Damsbo.

“It was difficult against Martin because of what happened to me last year. I didn’t want to go through it again. I’m glad it was a great match and it all went well. It was hard mentally speaking,” said Mike.

He said he was now ready for future competition.

“It’s also a bit of good luck because you always need that one shot that makes the difference, but you just never know when it will happen,” he said.

Seppie Cilliers took silver and gave South Africa its first ever podium finish at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final. Cilliers was in tears in the call room even before he stepped out for the gold medal match.

“It’s a good feeling. My last international tournaments were in 2011,” said Seppie. “This year I decided to give it another try. I’m really happy with the second place.”

Seven-time finalist Reo Wilde, from the USA, won bronze, beating out debutant Domagoj Buden to the last spot on the podium, 145-143.

The 2016 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final runs 24/25 September in Odense, Denmark.