Chinese Taipei take 3rd team gold; Spain show pairs quality
The recurve mixed team title in Antalya came with a little extra weight. It was the first awarded since it was announced that the event would be added to, and become the fifth available gold medal at, the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games – bringing it into the line with the already-featured team and individual competitions.
Any air of ‘warm-up matches’ was quickly dispelled with some strong shooting from Spain’s Gonzalez and Marin, who opened with a 10 and three nines to take the first set. Miscione, with less international experience than everyone else on the US team, nevertheless found the middle – and the USA fought back with two 10s of their own to open the second, while Spain drifted slightly to the right to lose the second by three points.
The USA were shooting in an unusual formation, with Ellison starting and finishing each end and Miscione taking the middle two arrows.
The Spanish pair came punching back in the third, opening with two 10s. Misconie showed visible nerves, having to let down an arrow and scoring a six, which sunk the third set, and then a five in the fourth. The Spanish team shot solidly to close out the match and take the bronze.
Alicia Marin put in three 10s in four ends: “I didn’t really realise what I’d done in the match until afterwards. It’s never easy to shoot 10s, but I’m pretty happy with what I did.
What’s the difference between the mixed team and the other team events?
“This time the arrows were on target so we didn’t need to communicate too much, so we just encouraged each other. It’s the first time we’ve shot together as a team, so it went pretty well considering that we didn’t have the chance to train together before coming out here,” Marin said.
The gold medal match featured Chinese Taipei and France, with Wei Chun-Heng and Peng Chia-Mao on duty for the former, Audrey Adiceom and Jean-Charles Valladont for the latter, on a busy day for both squads. The points got split in the first set, but France looked rattled at the start of the second, as Taipei turned the screw a little with four nines and Valladont put in two eights, apparently overcompensating for the wind.
In the third, Adiceom opened up again with a strong nine and Valladont found the middle, while Taipei wandered, and a 10 and a nine levelled the match.
Each team opened with a nine each in the four and last set, but the French team shipped two eights and Chinese Taipei secured another team gold medal – the third of this meet. It would be Jean-Charles Valladont’s first medal of the day, but not his last.
Adiceom said: “I was a little surprised at the beginning to have the wind coming from the right hand side, but the arrows landing on the right side, too. The last end I was feeling really stressed and my heart going a 1000 beats a minute.”
“I enjoy team events in general, and I really enjoy shooting in this team with JC, because he has so much experience, and he kept me on track during the match. The mixed team is a lot faster, it’s less arrows and less time, but in the end it’s the same – it’s everybody giving all they have for the team.”
The second stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 6 to 11 June in Antalya, Turkey.