French recurvers victorious after 6-year wait

13 August 2017
Berlin (GER)
France returns to the front of the international scene this season after disappointment in Rio.

The French recurve men’s team won its first medal of the season at the fourth and final stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Berlin, Germany, beating the Netherlands, 5-3, in the gold final – and taking its first international title since 2011.

“It is a great honour for us to hear the Marseillaise here in Berlin,” said Olympic silver medallist Jean-Charles Valladont of the French national anthem.

He, Pierre Plihon and young third Thomas Chirault trailed 3-1 after two sets, failing to take advantage of a seven by Dutchman Rick van den Oever at the start of the match.

The French team changed the order of its rotation at the start of the third set, Chirault taking the lead from Plihon.

“Thomas was more relaxed, less impacted than me by the context of this final, and it allowed me to refocus on my technique and seek victory,” said Pierre.

The tactic paid off and the French scored two sets of 57 points to reverse the match and win, 5-3.

“I don't feel like we lost gold, I more feel like we won silver in this case, and in Mexico it might just go our way instead of the opponents’ way,” said Berlin team silver medallist Sjef van den Berg.

The last time the French recurve team won a gold medal was by beating Japan in 2011 in Antalya.

The fourth stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 8 to 13 August in Berlin, Germany.