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Lavergne and Matheson achieve Personal and Team Bests in Chicago.

August 09, 2023
Lavergne and Matheson achieve Personal and Team Bests in Chicago.

Chicago, IL – Chicago’s North Side Archery Club hosted their inaugural Para World Ranking Event in Chicago, Illinois from August 2-6th 2023. This event, which quickly followed the Para World Championships that were held at the end of July, saw two Canadians in attendance, Shawn Matheson of Carp, Ontario and Jean-Francois Lavergne of Saint-Raymond, QC, serving as a preparation for the Canadian National Championships next week. 

The competition provided a great development opportunity for both archers in their pursuit of obtaining a Paris Paralympic spot at the Final Qualification tournament in Dubai in early 2024. It provided both athletes with further chances to obtain the Minimum Qualification Scores and expose them to more head-to-head elimination matches against strong opponents, such as Korea, the United States of America and Brazil. 

Though nicknamed the “Windy City” the weather in Chicago was perfect for the qualifying rounds, with warm temperatures and little to no wind. The perfect conditions saw Jean-Francois achieve a personal best of more than 41-points, with a final total of 567 at the end of qualification, being just 3 points shy of the Minimum Qualification Score needed for Paris next year. 

“I had a great time both during the doubles matches with my team-mate as well as my individual 720 qualification round in which I beat my personal best score by 41 points,” said Jean-Francois. “It’s great to see that my technique has gotten more consistent after an intense week of practice following the last two international competitions. I am looking forward to nationals next week to keep progressing as I still have my sights set on a Paralympic qualification.”

Shawn Matheson, struggled more on the day of qualification, besting his score from the Para World Championships by 16, with a final score of 490. 

Both men, after receiving Byes into the 1/8th round, quickly had to prepare to go straight into Elimination matches. Lavergne would meet Jun Beom Park of Korea and Matheson would meet Dejan Fabcic of Slovenia in the first round. Matheson battled the Slovenian through to the final end, before falling to his opponent with a final score of 6-4. Lavergne won his first ever international elimination match, defeating Park from Korea with a final score of 6-4.

Lavergne then faced another formidable opponent from Korea, Jihoon Lee, who was the number one ranked archer at this event following qualification. Lee defeated the Canadian in three straight sets with a final score of 6-0. 

The Canadian Team wrapped up this Para World Ranking Event by competing in the Doubles Team Matches, with their first match against Heriberto Alves Roca and Luciano Rezende of Brazil. The weather, with heavy rain and wind gusts, made the team rounds to be anyones match. After falling in the first end, Matheson and Lavergne battled back and forth with the Brazilian team, and forced a shoot-off after the 4th end. The Canadian Duo would then score higher than their Brazilian counterparts and move on to face Team Korea. 

Team Korea, consisting of Jihoon Lee and Kanghun Kim, were once again the top seed in the team event. After falling 4-0, the Canadian Duo fought back to steal 2-points off the Koreans, before falling in the last end with a final score of 6-2. 

Matheson and Lavergne then moved on to face the American Team of Kevin Mathers, current Para World Champion, and Micahel Lukow in the Bronze Medal Match. Though shooting some of their best scores as a team in the Bronze Medal match, the Americans edged out the Canadians, leaving them with a fourth place finish. 

“It was great that we got as far as we did in the Doubles today.” said Shawn Matheson.  “We work well together and feed off each other.  It is  hard on the competition psyche when we don’t get as far as we would like, but all things considered with being the new guys we are really happy with our accomplishments today”

It was really exciting to see all the work the recurve men have been putting into their training, producing results today in Chicago.” said Linda Price, coach for this event.  “They won their first international match against Brazil in the torrential rain which moved them into the semi finals against the number one seed Korea. The Canadian men got one end on Korea but failed to win the match which moved them into the bronze medal match against USA. The stronger, more experienced USA team took the match but the Canadian team held their own. It was so rewarding to see their development in such a short period of time. Well done!”

The Canadian Para Archery Team now all set their sights on the Canadian National Championships, taking place from August 10-13th in Victoria, B.C.