Australia’s Taylor Worth: I’d never even seen snow

17 February 2018
Yankton, SD (USA)
The two-time Olympian shoots for recurve men’s bronze at Yankton 2018.

Twelve Australian athletes made the 9,000 mile trip to Yankton. Two have made the individual finals: compound junior Remy Leonard and two-time Olympian Taylor Worth. None of the Australian athletes has a coach out here – but the team has coped.

“It’s great to see more archers on the line for us,” said Taylor. 

Worth made the recurve’s men’s bronze medal match, only stopped by a perfect Sjef van den Berg in a high-quality, five-set semifinal. It’s a pretty remarkable result when you consider it’s only Taylor’s second international indoor tournament – ever.

“It started off a bit rough, but as soon as I entered my second match against Rick, the shot started to feel really good, and they just started to go in the middle,” he said.

“I had no expectations [about this trip]. There’s always that little bird in the back of your mind, of course. Four years ago in Nimes, I made the world finals as well. That was my first ever indoor comp, and this is my second ever indoor comp – unless you count Vegas.”

Indoor archery isn’t common in Australia, where the climate allows for outdoor shooting all year round.

“Why would you bother?” Worth laughs: “We have, like, one indoor competition a year, and I don’t shoot it all that much.”

“Having said that, Vegas was a great experience, although it was challenging for me as it’s all based on your score, there’s no matchplay. I think of myself as a matchplay specialist, my ranking rounds have never been the strongest, but I can do it when it matters head-to-head.”

Being the opposite of an indoor specialist means Worth is similarly relaxed when it comes to indoor equipment.

“This trip is the first time I’ve ever shot fat arrows as well,” he said.

“It seems to be going okay! Chucked all the components together, first end wasn’t quite tuned, couple of clicks [of my pressure button], and it was together. How long did it take to tune? Thirty minutes, maybe.”

The weather in Yankton came as a big shock, and for Worth was a completely new experience.

“I’ve never even seen snow, never felt it, and this is the single coldest place I’ve ever been in my life,” he said. The Australian team was spotted throwing a few snowballs at each other outside the centre.

“Australia is currently in the middle of summer and going through a heatwave – which I’d love to be in."

The outdoor season beckons for this 27 year old, currently ranked 40th in the world: 

"We have the Australian Open coming up, so when I get home, this is going in the cupboard and the outdoor bow will come out and I’ll hit the ground running.”

The Australian men's recurve team shoots for gold on Sunday and the junior men's compound team shoot for gold on Monday. 

The 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships takes place in Yankton, USA on 14-19 February.