Tokyo 2021 Firmly in View for Canadian Archers
Archery Canada’s Olympic program completed a 5-day camp in Ontario’s Cambridge and Kitchener area at the end of January. The camp was held under an Ontario government exemption to enable ongoing team training in preparation for the Tokyo Olympic Games and the continuing qualification process. The camp was attended by 13 athletes and 4 staff supported by multiple, rigorous safety protocols and a process that included a lengthy pre-camp routine and the completion of two separate Covid tests over 4 days prior to the start of the camp.
“We are grateful for the privilege of being able to prepare for the Olympics while in lockdown,” said Alan Brahmst, Archery Canada’s High Performance Advisor. “This was made possible by establishing sophisticated hygiene and safety protocols and a close-knit testing and monitoring system.” The support of many different parties and partners, including the financial support of the Government of Canada, and the support of the Public Health Authority, the city of Cambridge, the Region of Waterloo, the Cambridge Hotel and Conference Centre, the YMCA, the ComDev training facility, and the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario was tremendous.
The program’s ability to create a training camp environment, which generated quality competition under pressure, is critically important in the preparation for the ongoing Tokyo qualification process. Along with the Paralympic program, the Recurve women are currently scheduled to compete in Mexico for Continental Olympic quota spots starting March 21st, or less than 8 weeks from now.
“Under the conditions, this was anything but a normal training camp for our group. I am glad to see how everyone executed our protocols and demonstrated collective accountability to keep our environment protected,” according to Shawn Riggs, Recurve National Coach. “We have an obligation to prepare ourselves as best as possible for the year ahead and this was a key component of that preparation – we learned a lot. From a competitive point of view, we saw some strong results and had 4 men over 670 and 6 men over 660, which is something we have not seen. It is an indicator that we are building a broader group in the men’s team, which can be competitive at the world level. Although our Arrow Average in match and team round play was not quite where it needed to be, it was a good assessment of where our men’s team is positioned coming out of a months long environment that saw restricted training opportunities.”
As one of the 4 women in the camp, Virginie Chenier felt good about the event and commented “while Mariessa & myself had to also manage through intra-provincial travel and an additional 4-day quarantine in the hotel before the start, this was a great opportunity for the 4 women to come together to compete and also just to train with a larger group – everybody has been missing this, and once everybody received their second test result from the CSIO, we were able to somewhat get back to normal over 5 days of quality training and competing.”
The program’s next projects include a men’s selection camp in February and again in March, the continental qualifier for the women, and then the start of the World Cup season currently scheduled for April in Guatemala. Archery Canada would like to thank all the partners who supported this camp.