Nove Mesto provides valuable international experience for para-archer
NOVE MESTO, CZ – Today was the first day of elimination rounds in Nove Mesto at the Para-Archery European Cup. All five Canadians were in action today and each of them gained valuable experience in matchplay and shooting on the international stage.
The team event was first on the docket today, with Canadian teams competing in both recurve men’s open and compound men’s open. In the ⅛ elimination round, Kyle Tremblay and Chris Waterman teamed up to face off against the team from Ukraine, composed of Serhiy Atamanenko and Ivan Dziadyk. The final score was 150-143 in favour of the Ukrainians, however, Canada never dropped an end by more than two points. The recurve men’s open team of Jean-François Lavergne and Shawn Matheson competed in their first match against the British team of David Phillips and Cameron Radigan. Unfortunately, they lost their match 6-0. Both teams will not move on in this portion of the competition.
After lunch, the event turned towards the individual matchplay competition. Lavergne again faced off against Great Britain’s David Phillips. The Englishman kept up his strong shooting in this match and defeated the Canadian 6-0. Matheson faced off against Dhanna Ram Godara for his first match and lost 6-0. This was the first international match play for both athletes so the organization looks forward to their future performances.
Matheson provided some commentary on his shooting. “I think it went all right, I don’t think anyone’s ever completely happy with everything. There’s always something you can tweak. You know, for me, it’s my first big competition and it was a pretty good learning experience. There’s certainly lots of things I need to work on but I thought that when I had some chances I capitalized on working on the form that I’ve been working on with my coach. Obviously, there were a couple of stray [arrows] there that needed to be reined in, but overall I guess I’m pretty happy with how it went down.”
The first compound men’s open match up featured two Canadian archers shooting against each other. Waterman and Rob Cox, who were only three spots apart in qualifications, went back and forth in scores for the last four out of five ends. Eventually, Cox did win the match with a final score of 133-115 over Waterman. Cox moved on to face Rakesh Kumar of India for his next match. The Canadian shot strong, never scoring lower than an eight on an arrow, but unfortunately Kumar was able to take the match with a score of 146-139. Tremblay faced off against Jere Forsberg of Finland in his first match, both him and his opponent received a bye into this round. While the Canadians tied two of the ends at twenty-nine points, he was unable to score more points overall and dropped the match.
“I think I could have been better,” Tremblay responded when asked how he felt about the matches today. “I had high expectations for this event and thought I could have done better. My practice sessions before scoring were not going so well. So that was a let-down on confidence, but the practice right before this scoring went a lot better and I felt like I had a fighting chance, even though my opponent was very solid and very tight with his shooting. I had one bad end that led me to losing six points on one end. And even though I brought it back after that and kept my score up, it wasn’t enough to make up the gap.”
When asked about the importance of this event in the lead-up to the Paris 2024 Olympics, Cox answered, “This event is really important because of the fact it allows us to be ready when we come back here in July, which is the qualifier. One is to get us used to the climate, which may be different than it is in Canada as well as getting ready to go to the qualifier, then it’ll help train us to be ready for that event, so that athletes can go from that event and be ready for the 2024 Games.”
This marks the end of the competition for the Canadians at the Para-Archery European Cup. The team will use the remainder of their time there to rest and take advantage of the practice field. The next international event on the schedule for the para program is the World Archery Para Championships in mid-July.
For more information, please contact:
Zoe Meil, Communications & Safe Sport Coordinator
(613) 260-2113 ext. 3