New masters category boosts Nimes entry list

20 January 2018
Nimes (FRA)
It’s the first time an over-45 category has been included in the Nimes Archery Tournament.

Nearly 200 of the 1200 archers competing at the 2018 Nimes Archery Tournament are doing so in a brand-new masters category, open to those 45 years of age and above. 

It’s not part of the Indoor Archery World Cup – only the four main senior categories gather points in Nimes, which is stage three – but the masters event has proved plenty popular both in France and abroad.

“Youth are the future of the sport but, while as the older generation we must do whatever we can to encourage young people to pick up a bow, there are still plenty of masters who want to shoot competitively,” said tournament organiser Olivier Grillat.

“It’s encouraging to see such a strong entry this year across the board, on the master, regular and youth lines.”

Among the faces on the masters’ line are Olympians Khadija Abbouda, Cristina Ioriatti and Nathalie Dielen, and Paralympic medallist Philippe Horner.

“I was sure not to be involved in the main competition matches,” said Khadija, who was the first Moroccan archer to ever compete at the Olympics when she went to Beijing in 2008.

“People know that the level has really increased and they might not be capable of reaching that – but masters still want to shoot and compete.”

So it’s not just a social end of this, historically one of the most-competitive indoor tournaments in the world?

“No,” said Kadija. “I’m here to win, always!”

In 2018, the 45-plus event in Nimes consists of the 60-arrow 18-metre qualification round, but no head-to-head bracket this time around.

Khadija said she’d prefer a chance to shoot some matches.

The number of competitions available for masters archers has been on the rise for some time; world records are regularly broken, too.

And, soon, there’ll be another new and very special announcement for masters archers. Stay tuned.

The third stage of the 2017/18 Indoor Archery World Cup takes place in Nimes, France on 19-21 January 2018.