Alberto Simonelli 2nd para archer to win able-bodied world medal
Alberto Simonelli of team Italy has become the second para athlete to win a medal at the World Archery Championships, after Kevin Polish, when ninth-seeded Italy beat fourth-ranked Croatia in the compound men’s team semifinals at the 2017 Hyundai World Archery Championships in Mexico City.
“I'm very happy as we've worked hard to be here and it's something I really wanted so much,” said Simonelli, nicknamed Rolly.
In Salt Lake City, Italy beat the compound men’s team of USA in the quarterfinals, also the Italians’ opponent in Mexico's gold final.
“During the World Cup we also shot good and we have a consistency on the podium so we are very happy to confirm this here,” said Sergio Pagni.
Asked how it is to shoot in a team with an archer in a wheelchair, Sergio – a two-time winner of the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit – said there was no difference.
“The main thing is to have a great archer in the team,” he explained. “Having a great shooter taking their shot every time, that’s what’s important.”
Italy knocked-out top-seeded France, 29-28 in a quarterfinal shoot-off, and then recovered a deficit with a perfect last six arrows to beat Croatia in the semifinals. With the sweet 60-point end, Simonelli, Pagni and Federico Pagnoni secured themselves a place in the world championship title bout.
Before Italy face second-seeded USA for gold, Croatia will shoot against Colombia for bronze.
Colombia shot the best score of the afternoon – 238 against sixth seed South Africa – before dropping, 236-233, to the United States in the semifinals.
Italian federation President Mario Scarzella said: “We have two very strong teams, it's very important, but the most important for me is that the team is very good friends.”
The Italian recurve men will also shoot for gold in Mexico on Sunday.
The 2017 Hyundai World Archery Championships run 15-22 October in Mexico City, Mexico.