Max Mandia taking title shot at home World Archery Field Championships
Eighth-seed Massimiliano Mandia of Italy won four rounds of elimination matches, upsetting defending champion Brady Ellison in the last, to secure a spot in the recurve men’s gold medal match at the 2018 World Archery Field Championships in the Dolomite mountains of Cortina, Italy.
“I feel really satisfied with my shooting, it was awesome,” said Mandia. “Today I woke up telling myself that I had to do all I could do to win, and that’s what I did. I shot good, all my arrows went where they needed to, and it turned out to be a perfect day.”
During the first day of elimination matches on Friday, Mandia beat teammate Michele Calderato and Jonathan Andersson of Sweden. On Saturday morning, he defeated Germany’s Sebastian Rohrberg to face reigning World Archery Field Champion Brady Ellison in the semifinals.
Over the four-target, 12-arrow match, Mandia came out the better by one point, 65 to 64, guaranteeing Italy a medal.
“All I want in the final is to feel satisfied with myself by giving my best. Winning a medal in your country is always a double feeling. It’s for your nation and for the people that always support you,” he said.
The Italian man will face world field debutant Oonuki Wataru of Japan in the final.
Oonuki, who won Japan’s its first World Games medal in Poland in 2017, defeated multiple world field medallist JC Valadont by two, 60-58, in the other semifinal.
“I shot more matches than Valladont on that course and I think it helped me. I beat him last year in Poland and to do it again makes me very happy,” said Oonuki.
“I’m shooting against Mandia who’s a local. I know he’ll probably have many fans cheering him on, but I will try to think that all the noise is for me and not for him so I can try to win.”
In a rematch of the gold medal match at the World Games in 2017, Lisa Unruh and Naomi Folkard will contest the recurve women’s final in Cortina. Nami Fukasawa from Japan and Jessica Tomasi from Italy, the bronze.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling because I wanted to be in the top four. When I made it to the semis, I just relaxed because I was already at the point where I wanted to be,” he said.
“I had a very good match against Steve, who shot really good today, but I guess I just shot better.”
His opponent at the final is Mike “Mister Perfect” Schloesser, currently ranked the number one compound man in the world and shooting at his first ever World Archery Field Championships.
“It feels pretty good. I shot good and I’m happy about it,” said Mike.
Schloesser only lost out on a bye into the semifinals in a one-arrow shoot-off with Domagoj Buden after qualification.
“My first match [today, against Jasa] was really tough. It was a really high score but still needed a shoot-off,” said Schloesser. “In the second match we were both struggling a bit, but in the end, I guess I kept it a bit better than Domagoj, I think.”
Cortina 2018: Senior finals
- Recurve men: Oonuki Wataru, Japan / Massimiliano Mandia, Italy
- Recurve women: Lisa Unruh, Germany / Naomi Folkard, Great Britain
- Compound men: Nico Wiener, Austria / Mike Schloesser, Netherlands
- Compound women: Toja Ellison, Slovenia / Paige Pearce, USA
- Barebow men: David Garcia Fernandez, Spain / Erik Jonsson, Sweden
- Barebow women: Fawn Girard, USA / Lina Bjorklund, Sweden
Cortina 2018: Junior finals
- Recurve men: William Pike, Great Britain / Willem Bakker, Netherlands
- Recurve women: Aiko Rolando, Italy / Mathilde Louis, France
- Compound men: Timo Bega, Luxembourg / Connor Sears, USA
- Compound women: Sara Ret, Italy / Cassidy Cox, USA
- Barebow men: Eric Esposito, Italy / David Bianchi, Italy
- Barebow women: Natalia Trunfio, Italy / Laura Hughes, USA
The 2018 World Archery Field Championships take place in Cortina, Italy on 4-9 September.