Cilliers 1st South African to climb World Cup podium

25 September 2016
Odense (DEN)
Absent from international events for 5 years, Seppie Cilliers made his return to the archery arena a grand one.

After a five-year hiatus from international events, Seppie Cilliers returned to the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit in Shanghai, the opener of the 2016 season. His last competition before that was in 2011, when he finished ninth individually and fifth in the compound men’s team event at the World Archery Championships in Turin.

“I took a break, spent time with the family, did some business and this year I decided to give archery another try,” said Seppie.

In 2016, a sixth place in Shanghai and a fifth in Antalya secured him an invitation to his first-ever Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, in Odense, an event that went beyond his expectations.

He beat defending champion Demir Elmaagacli first, then dispatched veteran Reo Wilde in the semifinals to set up a gold medal match with Mike “Mister Perfect” Schloesser.

“Against Mike I was just not shooting much the 10, it’s a shame that it happened in the gold medal match and not in the one before, but it was good anyway, Mike shot great,” said Seppie.

Mike opened with nine consecutive 10s and won the match, 145-141. Second place for Seppie – but still his, and South Africa’s, first-ever podium at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

“I think things are in my favour, I got a little lucky, too, and I got to the finals, and what happened is more than I expected,” he said. “Mister Perfect did his thing and shot great, he was a hard guy to beat,” said Seppie.

“I’m the first South African medallist at a World Cup Final and I’m really happy about it, it’s fantastic news. I’m really happy to be able to go back home a silver medallist.”

The result won’t mean Seppie disappears again, though.

“I’m definitely going to try to make some of the World Cup stages,” he said when asked about his plans for 2017. “I hope to get to all of them, but my principal objective is the world champs in Mexico next year.”

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