The European Championships wrapped up in some style last weekend, in the appropriate surroundings of Old Market Square, Nottingham. I was up there on media duties, and wrote a piece about that here. You can also read about the Olympics continental qualifying tournament here, and who will be going to Rio who isn’t already. Congratulations to Jon Nott and team for putting together such a spectacular, smooth-running event.
The Conquest Cup, an invitation-only, cash-prize event in Istanbul as the showpiece of their Okçular Vakfı range (a pet project of the Turkish president, by the way) wrapped up last Sunday, but they’re not big on broadcasting the results. It looks like ladies recurve was won by Tatiana Biltrikova, with Lin Chia-En second and Karina Winter third. Korea took mixed team. I only know this by literally browsing through unlabelled pictures of the podium. Have a look yourself!
Currently running in Ulanbataar, Mongolia are the FISU World University Championships. Ranking and team rounds were done today with Park Seongcheol and Kang “The Destroyer” Chae Young topping the recurve pile. No TV coverage I can see, but you can check the results on IANSEO here – or info.worldarchery.org just this weekend.
Various nations are starting to announce squads for Rio. First up, the USA:
Hye Youn Park
The USA only have one women’s spot qualified, but Mackenzie Brown takes it for finishing top of the trials. Park and Lorig only get to go if the USA women manage to qualify a full team in Antalya. Hye Youn Park is the relative unknown here. She’s originally from Korea, but emigrated to the USA a few years ago (but not in enough time to try for London, under IOC rules). Full details here.
You may also be interested in a parent’s perspective on Zach Garrett making the team.
Finally, Mexico announced their squad:
Juan Rene Serrano
…but just Boardman will be going from the men’s list unless the Mexican men qualify a full team in Antalya. Mariana Avitia, the London bronze medallist, was cut from the trials at an earlier stage. A bigger surprise is Luis Alvarez not making the team, but apparently everyone else was well, better. Full details here (in Spanish).
Crispin Duenas, as we all know, loves to chat. Here he is talking to the National Post of Canada. Interesting material on his process as an athlete:
“I love the fact that after every new archery movie comes out we get an influx of people wanting to register for lessons, but I always tell people that what you see in the movies isn’t necessarily what we actually do. You can’t do this, you can’t do that, that doesn’t actually happen when you shoot a bow. If they’re lucky enough to be talking to me while I’m holding my bow, I’ll say here, try this. And they’ll pick up my bow and the first thing they’ll say is ‘oh my goodness, that’s really heavy’.”
Over at WA this week is Tom Dielen’s blog post reflecting on 20 years with World Archery, with lots of fascinating detail – well worth a read. It’s quite sobering to think, with the opening of the amazing WA Excellence Centre this year, that at one point international archery was entirely run from an unremarkable flat in Milan. That looked like this:
Also over at WA, this week’s all-time greatest Olympic archer is another Italian, Marco Galiazzo. Three consecutive medals (gold, silver, gold) from three consecutive Games. That’s pretty special – possibly unique?
The Korean team are flaunting their big name kit branding from Head, Elord, and hipster outdoor Korea brand Kolon Sport (who do the shoes). Glossy promotional video right here – all in Korean, but you’ll get the idea.
Wider Olympics news: five new sports have been approved for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 games – baseball, softball, karate, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing. It’s subject to final ratification, but that looks like a formality. Full details on Inside The Games. Baseball is huge in Japan, so that’s a no-brainer, and sport climbing looks like it has a lot to offer the lay viewing public. But skateboarding is easily the most controversial on the list, with the various governing bodies arguing amongst themselves and no-one really sure what an Olympic competition will look like – although there seems to be no doubt that it will be a big TV draw. Some of the Olympic commentariat aren’t impressed.
Finally, from the Irish Examiner, we have five facts that prove archery is the most interesting sport at the Olympics. I absolutely love the quote from Lida Howell from back in 1904:
“Archery is a picturesque game, the range with its smooth green and distant glowing target with its gold and radiating red, blue, black and white, the white-garbed players, with graceful big bows and flying arrows, makes a beautiful picture.”