“Field has changed a lot in 30 years”
We met with Carita Jussila (FIN) who participated at her first Field World Championships in 1976 here in Göteborg and is the only one to come back 30 years later. She has a superb career with 3 World title and still shows the same passion for archery.
In the centre, Carita Jussila (SWE) - Photo © Dean Alberga
Carita Jussila (FIN)
1973: Started Archery
1976: Took part in her first Field World Championships
1980: Took part in the Moscow Olympic Games
1980: Field World and European Champion in Recurve
1982: Field World and European Champion in Recurve
1986: Field World and European Champion in Recurve
1988: Field World and European Bronze Medallist in Recurve
Carita, are you enjoying your 2nd World Championships in Göteborg?
Yes, but the competition was kind of difficult for me. I have been shooting a compound bow for the last seven years, but here I wanted Finland to have a full women’s team. So I had to take my recurve bow again. Over the past few weeks, it was difficult to get the strength back in my arm. Then, during the competition, the clicker is always a bit tricky to deal with. Anyway, I had told the organisers that I will be there again and I am enjoying very much these Field World Championships.
What has changed since 1976?
The tracks have changed a lot. In 1976, we had courses with 28 targets, on which we were shooting four arrows. However, we were shooting each arrow from a different standpoint. We had to move up or down or sideways. We had to do more calculations, estimation of the slopes. It is difficult to calculate the distance with the slope and the right or left derivation. The courses are now much flatter than in the past. The only thing easier at that time was the white center of the target. Nowadays, yellow is more difficult to aim at.
What was the competition format?
In 1976, we had only two days of competitions for recurve and barebow. You would have a ranking for the first day, one for the second day and one for the total. You could have won three gold medals…
What about the atmosphere?
This hasn’t changed much. I think people in Field enjoy particularly an event. They not only enjoy the nature and the forest but also the difficulty of the shots. It seems to me that the more difficult a course is, the happier the archers get. I remember the course in 1982 in England was the trickiest in my life…
And you have done many of them in your career…
Yes… since 1976, I have only missed a couple of World Championships, I believe.
Have your success motivated people to take up archery in Finland?
This is hard to say. Archery represents a very nice, friendly and close community, but it stays an amateur sport. In my club, Hynnkaan Amarco ry, 50 km North of Helsinki, we have about 40 members. In average, a club in Finland would count 150 members.
Over time, why did you switch to compound?
A lot of archers do when they get older. The compound bow doesn’t require as much strength. Of course, this doesn’t take anything away of the precision and the performance that the top and young compound archers display nowadays.
How long will you keep shooting?
I love it so much… Probably I will keep shooting until I have one foot in the grave.
Thank you Carita.