Libert triumphs in field, wins all three golds as world masters concludes

18 August 2018
Lausanne (SUI)
The French archer won indoors, outdoors and on the field archery course.

Eric Libert of France, after taking outdoor and indoor championships on Wednesday and Thursday, took a final victory in the field competition at Montheron on the last days of the 2018 World Archery Masters Championship, to complete a clean sweep of the recurve men’s 50+ division. 

Shooting a 4.889 average arrow, he finished 18 points ahead of Adolf Mohr of Germany, who was also runner up to Libert in the outdoor championship. 

The 57-year-old Libert was characteristically humble about his performance.

“It’s like a normal weekend for me,” he laughs. “It was the day I was expecting, I suppose, as field archery is my strongest discipline. I was only anxious to see that the field course was up to expectations, and the course was really good, and hard enough and technical.” 

“The only difficulty was keeping the focus on each arrow, with the variations in the course, just keeping the focus all day long.”

The field course was one of the key draws for the masters competition, and was widely praised by archers. The architect was Jean Luc Fisher, vice president of the Lausanne club, and a designer of field courses all over Switzerland. 

“The course is in two parts; some in open field, and some inside the forest, which is very dense. I didn’t make any changes because it’s an older set of archers. This is a fully technical field course, the only limitation… is that two archers have to shoot at the same time,” he said. 

“There’s a few [targets] with very steep inclinations, and a couple where you may have to shoot into the direct sunlight. Although I have had a few archers mention that the steepness was quite tough,” he chuckled. 

“Field makes you a complete archer. You have to adapt to the surface, to the light, to the slopes, it’s not the same. For me, this is the discipline that makes you complete.”

It was also the discipline that completed Eric Libert’s sweep of the recurve men’s championship category.

In the recurve women’s 50+ event, Swiss Olympian Nathalie Dielen finally took a gold medal in one of her strongest disciplines.

“Today I started well, had a bad patch in the middle, and then shot better and made my best score of the year,” she said. 

Kaori Mitsuyama of Japan completed a clean sweep of titles in the 40+, non-championship, age group, taking the field title by edging out Katrin Virula of Estonia.

“I didn’t know the level of everybody here, so I treated it a little as a European holiday until we started,” said Mitsuyama. “But I really enjoyed the tournament too. I thought when I got the gold medal in the indoor I had a chance to get everything, because I’m a field specialist, but only in Japan.” 

In the compound men’s 50+ championship event indoors, Richard Smith of the USA took victory with a strong last 294-point half of the 18-metre round to vault him into first place. 

“The 25-metre was a personal best, because it’s the first time I’ve ever shot one. I started off a little slow, but then settled down. These guys all shoot really good, I kept looking over my shoulder, because I know what they can do. I’m taking home a gold and two bronzes, so we may have to leave some clothes here to make the baggage weight.”

Julia Oleksejenko of Latvia won the compound women’s 50+ indoor competition.

Estonia’s Aleksandr Kiskonen, the oldest man in the competition at 79 years old, took a win in the compound indoor non-championship 70+ category, contested by three men. 

Full combined results from the 2018 World Archery Masters Championships are available via Ianseo.

The first World Archery Masters Championships took place on 14-18 August 2018 in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Athletes