Tahiti makes Hyundai Archery World Cup debut in Shanghai
Didier Gras and Teiva Winkelstroeter are the first two archers from Tahiti to ever compete at a stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup. They’re making their grand debut at the second leg of this year’s international circuit, which is taking place on 6-12 May in Shanghai, China.
“It’s really cool. Tahiti is a small country; we don’t have strong archers to travel to international events as big as this one,” said Didier, who’s also a coach, international judge and president of Tahiti’s nation archery federation.
There are just over 100 archers across the Pacific island nation. It’s a small community – and this event is a big step.
“For me, it’s a big shock to see all those professional archers shooting and their arrows landing all in the gold,” said Teiva. “It’s a different level to what we know. We look at the archers, at their bows, how they shoot and try to learn from that.”
An archer of 35 years of experience and Oceania champion in 2008, Teiva is among a committed group of Tahitians that has travelled to places such as New Zealand and France – Tahiti is a French overseas territory – to compete with other archers.
There are all kinds of obstacles to growing archery in a country situated in the middle of the ocean, halfway between Australia and the western coast of the USA.
It’s not easy to import equipment and international isn’t fast. But both Didier and Teiva are keen to ensure that this debut Hyundai Archery World Cup is not Tahiti’s last.
“Two of my children are practising archery and I would like them to come to an event like this and see what a World Cup is. They might be the next to do it, who knows,” said Teiva.
The second stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place in Shanghai, China on 6-12 May.