European podium achievable says 20-year-old Frenchman Chirault
At 20 years of age, Thomas Chirault is arguably mid-way through his breakout season.
Ranked number 10 in the world in the recurve men’s list, he picked up his first individual podium on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit at stage three in Salt Lake City, USA – where he also won the Longines Prize for Precision for shooting the highest number of 10s.
“I think this year I am more consistent at a higher level in qualifications and in matches,” he explained.
Sitting in fifth in the World Cup rankings with just one stop of the tour left in the calendar, Chirault is on the cusp of his first Final berth. He’s averaging nearly half-a-point more per arrow than he did in 2017, and has delivered a personal best on the ranking round of 670/720 points – more akin to what he’s used to shooting in practice.
“I’m still a little below in competition but it gets closer to what I can do in training, whereas in matchplay I’m able to score about the same,” he added.
It’s a jump in comfort level from Antalya in 2017, when the French archer stepped out alone into the finals arena for the first time, only to be defeated by David Pasqualucci of Italy.
“I do not have the words to describe how you feel [in a final], but that’s exactly why we train every day, that’s why I train every day,” he said. “I just want to live it many times, because it's just exceptional.”
With a first podium under his belt, Chirault’s tournament results are quickly catching the level of his shooting – and silverware at this year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Final or European Championships looks well within the young Frenchman’s grasp.
“I think it’s completely achievable,” said Thomas.
Watch this space.