Competition kicks off at the World Archery Para Championships in Pilzen
PLZEN, CZ – Competition has begun at the 2023 World Archery Para Championships, running from July 17-23rd. In this first Paris Paralympic Qualification tournament the qualification rounds saw 4 Canadians taking to the field over two days.
Qualification rounds for the compound men started off with warm and relatively calm weather. Kyle Tremblay of Deep River (ON) and Chris Waterman of Winnipeg (MB) took to the field to begin their 720 Rounds. Tremblay ended the morning as the top Canadian Qualifier, qualifying in 61st with a score of 655. His teammate, Chris Waterman, qualified with a score of 627, in 77th.
“Considering that the weather was ideal for shooting, I was not satisfied with the qualifying round’, said Chris Waterman, “It is bittersweet though, as in the matchplay rounds, it was one of my better matchplay scores at an event of this caliber, where we fought down to the last end. “
Following the qualification rounds, both Tremblay and Waterman had to immediately walk into the first round of elimination matches, where Tremblay met Michael Meier of Austria, seeded 51st, and Waterman took on Thierry Joussaume of France, seeded 36th after the qualification rounds.
Both archers kept their matches close, with both sets being decided in the 5th and final end. Unfortunately both Tremblay and Waterman dropped the last ends of their matches, seeing them eliminated from the competition.
“There were some nerves in the first two ends of the qualifying rounds, it seems” said Coach Mike Fox. “ Both Kyle and Chris shot very well and the experience is priceless for them. There were ups and downs for both of them, but they both came in strong into the elimination rounds shooting very tight ends against their opponents and fighting to the end.”
Wednesday morning featured the Recurve Men’s qualification rounds followed immediately by the first round eliminations. The weather was again in perfect conditions for the qualification round. Both Shawn Matheson, of Carp (ON) and Jean-Francois Lavergne, of St-Raymond (QC) experienced challenges on the line today, with both athletes disappointed in their qualification round scores. Matheson bounced back in the second half of the qualifying round with a final score of 474. Jean-Francois also pushed through, finishing with a score of 410.
Following the qualifying round both men quickly had to prepare themselves for the 1/48th round with Shawn Matheson facing Sampath Bandara Megahamulea Gadara of Sri Lanka, and Jean-Francois meeting Jonasts Gints of Latvia. Lavergne struggled with his sight throughout the match but was hopeful to catch him in the last end. Gints of Latvia overtook Lavergne with a final score of 6-0.
“What got the better of me is consistency, I need to polish some details and get more consistent with my shot process. I am looking forward to working on that more when I get home and back with my coach” said Jean-Fraoncois Lavergne.
Matheson, after dropping the first end, pushed forward to defeat Sampath of Sri Lanka, closing out the set in the last end, with a final score of 7-3. Matheson moves on to face Lukasz Ciszek of Poland in round 2.
“I feel disappointed that I wasn’t able to pull it all together. It wasn’t what I came here for or prepared for and this wasn’t my game plan for when I got here” said Shawn Matheson “ I was able to keep it together in the elimination match, and advance on. It gives me the chance to reset for tomorrow.”
“The para worlds competition provides a deep pool of quality athletes”, said Coach Linda Price. “Our recurve men are using this event for their ongoing development and to enhance their opportunities to practice the doubles event which is unique to the Para event.”
Price continued “additionally they had the real experience of the pressure that comes along at this level which is hard to create back home. We are looking forward to seeing them push themselves forward over the next few days.”
Jean-Francois will return to action on Friday July 21st, teaming up with Shawn Matheson to face Team India in the Doubles Team Matches.
Quota spots for the Paris Paralympic Games will be awarded at this event, based on final rankings of the World Championships.
- Thursday, July 20 – Individual elimination rounds
- Friday, July 21 – Secondary tournament for Paris 2024 individual qualification and Doubles Matches
- Saturday, July 22 – Finals
- Individuals VI
- Mixed teams, doubles, individuals CO
- Sunday, July 23 – Finals
- Mixed teams, doubles, individuals W1
- Mixed teams, doubles, individuals RO