Italy and France to shoot for recurve men’s team world title
The Italian Azzuris and French Tricolores upset the two top seeded teams in Mexico City, Korea and Japan, on their journeys to the gold medal match, which will be contested Sunday in the city-centre Zocalo at the 2017 Hyundai World Archery Championships 2017.
The number one Korean team strolled trough the first two rounds before meeting the fourth-seeded Italian squad in the semifinals at Campo Marte.
In the lower part of the bracket, the two lowest seeded nations, 14th-ranked Canada and 15th-seeded France had a successful afternoon, outshooting their seedings to make it to the final four.
“We missed out a little in qualification, but what’s important is to be in the cut,” said JC Valladont.
Both teams survived a shoot-offs in the first round, the Frenchmen shooting a perfect 30 to beat the number two-ranked Japanese team.
The Canadians kicked out individual top seed Sjef van den Berg and teammates from the Netherlands in their tiebreaker. Both teams shot 28 points for the shoot-off arrows, but an X10 gave victory to the North Americans.
The two semifinals also had to be decided with tiebreakers.
“It was a world championship semifinal, so it was really tense and high-level,” said Pierre Plihon.
The semifinal between Canada and France was drawn at 2-2, then the teams split the third and fourth sets, to remain tied 4-4 and go to another shoot-off.
Crispin Duenas, Brian Maxwell and Hamilton Nguyen scored 27 points with their additional three arrows.
Youngster of the French team Thomas Chirault shot his third X10 of the match, copied by Pierre Plihon, leaving teammate JC Valladont needing to drop an eight to win.
The Rio 2016 Olympic silver medallist did not fail, shooting a nine – and raising his arms in celebration.
“It’s a first medal at my first worlds,” said 20-year-old Chirault. “There’s still gold to go, but for the moment we’ve won everything this year with this team, in Berlin we won all our matches, so we’re confident for the final.”
In the second semifinal, reigning World Archery Champion Kim Woojin, two-time world championships silver medallist Oh Jin Hyek and 2007 World Archery Champion Im Dong Hyun trailed 4-2 but sent the match to a tie by winning the fourth set, 51-50.
Both teams started the shoot-off with 10 and nine.
Korea finished with an eight; 2012 Olympic Champions Marco Galiazzo and Mauro Nespoli, with David Pasqualucci, had a nine linecutter.
“It’s always difficult to shoot against Korea as against any other team,” said Galiazzo. “Each team is a new adventure, each of them is strong and they all try to give the best. Every match is unique.”
France and Italy will face each other for world gold, while Korea and Canada will have a shot at bronze.
“It’s great that at these world championships number one and two are for sure Europeans, but we’ll do everything to hear the anthem,” said Valladont.
Plihon added: “The Italians have two arms, two legs and a bow in their hands, like us, so we’ll see Sunday. We will do everything to win.”
Italy won’t hand France the gold..
“I think we’re one of the best teams in the world, so I think we can win the match [against France],” said Pasqualucci.
The 2017 Hyundai World Archery Championships run 15-22 October in Mexico City, Mexico.