Mike Schloesser completes major trophy collection
Mike Schloesser beat Sergio Pagni, the 2014 world indoor champion, to compound men’s gold at the 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships in Yankton, USA, going one better than his silver from 2016 and collecting the last major international target archery trophy available from World Archery that had previously eluded him. (He has not yet taken the World Games, either.)
The final finished at 146-145, just one point in Schloesser’s favour.
“I’ve now won the indoor world cup, outdoor world cup, the finals from both, and now the world championships from both,” said Mike. “I’ve had this one on the list for a couple of years now, and I finally can tick it off the list. It’s really awesome.”
It was Schloesser’s fourth attempt at the world indoors since his international debut in 2011.
“I guess I'll have to win everything twice, now, I think,” he added.
Neither Sergio or Mike shot at their very best on the stage. On the final arrow, the Dutchman needed a nine to win. The nerves were obvious, with Mike's thumb visibly shaking on the trigger.
His final dart was a bad nine, right on the eight-line on the left of the gold – but it was enough.
“To be honest I was happy with it, because I still shot it technically pretty well,” said Mike. “But I was kinda nervous, yeah, I was aiming left, aiming left and couldn't move it. I’m just happy I could finish it.”
Mike’s crown campaign in Yankton almost came to a disastrous end during the semifinals – when he shot 14 perfect arrows and then a rotten seven, leaving him needing a shoot-off win to advance to the final. He recovered, emphatically winning with an inside-out 10.
“Of course it can always be better, but I'm happy with the steps I've taken, and my performances throughout the tournament. I've gotten better and better,” he said.
Pagni, who also lost the team gold medal match to the USA in Yankton said that it was not his day:
“I think my teammates may not want me to say, but I was the one who made the mistake that meant the team lost. And when it was just me, I didn't shoot good.”
“I don't like losing this way. But this is my job, so I continue to compete. I am coming back to the USA for the indoor nationals next month. It's really been a very good week for me, just today I wasn't so good on the target.”
It was the fifth time the two had met, and Mike now leads Sergio 4-1 in international head-to-head matchplay.
In the men’s bronze match Kris Schaff and Jesse Broadwater of the USA's mens team both returned to the stage to fight for third place. With the pressure off a little, both put on a masterclass, with Jesse shooting clean to beat Kris by two points, 150-148.
The 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships takes place in Yankton, USA on 14-19 February.