Dutch federation names recurve team for World Cup opener
Sjef van den Berg, Steve Wijler, Rick van der Ven and Jan van Tongeren will represent the Netherlands recurve squad at the first Hyundai Archery World Cup stage of the year, according to an announcement from the Dutch archery federation.
“I’m happy to be in a team of experience, raw talent and potential, and I’m looking forward to a good season,” said Sjef van den Berg, who was recently crowned World Archery Indoor Champion in Yankton in February.
“There are many good teams out there, but if we get in our groove I’ll be excited to see what we can achieve.”
There are not many squads that can match up with this group from the Netherlands in terms of competition achievements.
Steve Wijler won his debut international event in Shanghai in 2017, was third at the Hyundai World Archery Championships in Mexico City and was named both breakthrough athlete and recurve man of the season.
“We’ve been shooting very similar scores lately,” said Sjef. “I just took a lot longer to get to this level!”
“It helps the team to have both of us. I love seeing the simplicity of Steve’s shooting, and being reminded of the fact that we don’t have a very difficult sport. Steve learns from my experience and wants to show everyone that he is better than the rest of the world.”
“If he has a teammate shooting at a high level, too, he will know he’ll at least have to shoot better than me.”
Rick van der Ven was second at the World Archery Championships in 2015 and both he and Sjef have finished fourth at an Olympic Games. (Rick in 2012, Sjef in 2016.)
The fourth member of the squad, 19-year-old Jan van Tongeren, made his Hyundai Archery World Cup debut back in 2015.
He hasn’t shot on the senior world stage since, but did come fourth at the World Archery Youth Championships at the back of 2017 and has a fifth-place finish at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games to his name.
“He’s a guy full of talent and a very eager to show he can do amazing things with a bow,” said Sjef.
Interestingly, two of the four – Jan and Rick – are left-handed.
Compound selections for the Dutch team take place on the weekend of 10/11 March 2018. Reigning World Archery Indoor Champion Mike Schloesser will be among those contesting a place.
The first stage of the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place on 23-29 April in Shanghai, China.