Schloesser beats world #1 Hansen in incredible shoot-off
The Netherland’s Mike Schloesser shot a 10 that measured just 15mm from the centre of the target to beat Stephan Hansen on a closest-to-the-middle measure in the shoot-off that decided the compound men’s gold medal in Salt Lake.
“I’ve been in a lot of shoot-offs lately, especially against Stephan, and normally an X on the line isn’t good enough so, even though it was a really good arrow, I was still thinking there was a chance he could beat it because he’s a really great archer as well,” said Schloesser.
“I waited until he shot to see if I had won and then I was super excited about it.”
“This time it just wasn’t my luck to win, but I shot good and I’m not disappointed about anything and I’ll keep fighting for more,” said Hansen.
Arriving at stage three of the Hyundai Archery World Cup tour, Mike was ranked number two in the world, Stephan number one.
The pair shot clean 10s through the first six arrows of the gold medal match, but it was Mike “Mister Perfect” Schloesser who blinked first. His seventh arrow landed low on the nine line – but then Stephan went wide with his eighth shot.
After three ends, they were tied on 89; then, after four, on 118.
Another 29 points from Mike Schloesser to close left Stephan, the reigning World Archery Champion, with a chance to take his second stage win of the season (after Shanghai). He needed a 10, but his shot landed low, left in the nine – and the match went to a tiebreaker.
Schloesser shot first, and shot a strong 10, low in the X-ring.
Hansen shot second, and shot a 10, too – but wider. The Dane’s arrow measured by FalcoEye – the laser scoring system – at 35mm from the target’s centre, a full 20mm further out than Mike’s.
“It was really good that the match was tight, for TV and for the spectators; for us it was really exciting, too. It’s never fun if the match is over in three arrows, and of course it’s fun to win, but it’s more fun if you win in a shoot-off,” said Hansen.
Mike was noticeably shooting quickly during the contest, with the television cameras struggling to keep pace at points, but he never looked uncomfortable.
“I think it’s a style I developed because it’s so windy. I try to shoot quicker so I won’t be surprised by the wind that much. I think it was still in me from yesterday, when I was shooting the eliminations, when I was using that quick pace,” he explained.
Schloesser’s win will have implications in the world ranking list, closing the points gap between him, in the second position, and Hansen on top.
The compound men’s bronze medal match went to a tiebreaker, too.
Bridger Deaton was clean through nine shots in the match and had a four point lead over Rodolfo Gonzalez. Then disaster struck. Deaton shot a seven, nine, nine – for 25 total – while Gonzalez posted a 30, and jumped into a one point lead.
“It dropped low and I was trying to bring it up and broke around the eight ring. You could probably see me shaking my head. Even with that bad end I managed to recover, so it worked out,” said Deaton.
Fortunately for the once-soundly-leading US athlete, he found the middle again to close with a 30 and force the shoot-off, then posted a strong X10 to take the match.
The third stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 20 to 25 June in Salt Lake City, USA.