Double gold for Richter as German women triumph
Elena Richter of Germany became World Archery Indoor Champion in Yankton, USA, beating Aida Roman of Mexico, 7-3, in a five-set classic at the NFAA Easton Archery Centre, just a hour after she and her teammates took team gold by beating Russia.
“It was a really tough match, I was very weak, I was shaking. Aida is a very strong opponent. I tried to just focus on my shots and it went pretty well,” said Elena.
“A double world champion? I can't even describe the feeling. It’s amazing.”
Richter’s former German teammate Karina Winter won the world indoors in 2009 and Lisa Unruh, Germany’s Olympic silver medallist from Rio, was the defending champion arriving in Yankton.
The dominant squad of Richter, Unruh and Michelle Kroppen, who all suffered from flu since arriving in the USA, won team gold despite Unruh only being well enough to shoot one end of the ranking round early in the competition.
The headline women’s match saw an incredibly tense battle with the Germans against the number one seeds Russia – although the latter was without their talismanic captain Ksenia Perova.
After four dozen shots under immense pressure, Germany emerged the victor after staying entirely in the gold ring; shooting ends of 58, 59, 59, and 58 points to beat Russia, 5-3. Three of the sets were won by just a single point.
“At the moment it doesn't feel like winning the gold. It may take a while to sink in,” said Unruh.
Second-shooter Michelle Kroppen said: “I’m a little bit sick but I'm the happiest girl in the team.” The win was Kroppen's first senior gold medal at international level.
Richter’s individual win marked her second world title; she was world field champion at Val D'Isere in 2012. She also won the Shanghai stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2014, among many other team medals.
“I hope to go on performing well, out in the summer,” said Richter. “I am going to continue on until at least Tokyo. And after that – we’ll see!”
France's Audrey Adiceom showed strength and poise to beat out Japan’s Fumiyo Miyaki for the individual bronze, giving France a little more to cheer about after Ukraine had beaten the French women’s recurve team, also featuring Adiceom, in the bronze medal match.
The 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships takes place in Yankton, USA on 14-19 February.