Arina Cherkezova crowned compound cadet world champion after remarkable final

24 August 2019
Madrid, Spain
Silver went to Natacha Stutz, bronze to Elisa Bazzichetto.

Arina Cherkezova of Russia beat Denmark’s Natacha Stutz in a shoot-off to win the compound cadet women’s gold medal at the 2019 World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid, Spain.

“It was very difficult. I have been striving to achieve that victory since I started shooting. I was full of emotions and all of these came out,” said Cherkezova.

Just the last two arrows decided the outcome of the final.

Stutz led by a tiny margin of just one point before the fifth end. Cherkezova shot a 10, nine and one arrow that was near the line of the 10-ring but needed to be confirmed by a judge.

Twenty-nine points would have been enough to secure gold for the Dane. But after two 10s, her last arrow was an eight. A tense 30 seconds followed. The judge at the target upgraded Cherkezova’s arrow to a 10. It forced the shoot-off.

Stutz landed a nine; Cherkezova followed with a 10 – and claimed her maiden title. The 15-year-old Russian archer burst into tears.

As well as individual gold, she took silver with her team. That was a tough loss.

“In the team event, I understood you have to been concentrated. Everything, every movement touches other team members. That's why after that match I was more focused,” said Arina.

Russian coach Oleg Platonov was constantly talking to the young archer on the field.

“He was telling me all the time: you have to be focused, you can do that, you have to make your good, technically clean shot,” the new champion said.

Stutz, who finishes this tournament with silver, performed at her best all week.

“I don’t feel like I lost gold, I feel like I won silver,” she said.

“These are my first worlds so I wasn’t expecting anything. When I came to the final it was just about focusing, getting the best feeling. I got the silver medal and that’s huge.”

Also just 15 years of age, the match was a significant learning experience for the young Dane. “Now I know I’m getting nervous and I know how to handle it. Even though I got nervous, I shot well in the final,” she said.

There was drama in the compound cadet women’s bronze medal match, as well.

Elisa Bazzichetto of Italy beat the USA’s Faith Miller, again after a shoot-off. 

They were tied after five ends at 141-141. The Italian archer had led by two points but only scored 27 for her last three arrows compared to Miller’s 29. 

In the tiebreak, Bazzichetto put her arrow in the 10. Miller got a nine.

“I was very excited but I felt confident while shooting. When I shot in the shoot-off, I said in my mind something like ‘yes, this arrow will be a 10!’ And it was a 10,” said the excited Italian. 

The 2019 World Archery Youth Championships takes place on 19-25 August in Madrid, Spain.