Four kings and four queens in barebow competitions
A Spaniard, who can’t stand football, but shoots as straight as Ronaldo, who works in a metal-working factory, David Garcia Fernandez will have a chance on Friday to claim TWG gold. He is one of four semi-finalists in the barebow competitions. The women’s competition has also been reduced to four, who can still hope to end up on the medal stand.
Thursday’s action produced a clear field of semifinalists in the barebow competition. David Garcia Fernandez and Martin Ottosson, the two best in qualifying, will meet Istvan Kaskas and John Demer. On the women’s side, the group of medal hopefuls includes Lina Bjorklund and Martina Mackova. The defending champion Swede will face Tina Gutman of Slovenia and Mackova will meet the top archer from qualifiying, Cinzia Noziglia.
After two days of competition, it’s clear that the men’s favourite is TWG 2013 silver medalist Garcia Fernandez. He proved to be the best in qualifying and took down Ottosson in dramatic fashion while battling to see who he would face in the next round. “I really had a good feeling the whole time,” commented Fernandez. “Normally, it’s not so easy to shoot in the finals, but in the early match I was relaxed and I enjoyed it. I can see the gold within reach now, but I have to keep working hard and focus completely on the competition.” In addition to a silver from Cali, Fernandez was also runner-up in the world championships.
It must be said about Fernandez that he is very much a typical Spaniard. Real or Barcelona? It’s all the same to him. “I don’t like football actually. Only my family and archery count. In everyday life I work in the factory, making metal parts and I train in my free time,” he smiles. “So I’m just an ordinary guy. Hopefully I’ll win a gold medal tomorrow, but I have to shoot well.” It’s impossible not to see his love for archery. While it continued to drizzle, he grabbed an umbrella and sat down in the stands, waiting to see who he would face in Friday’s final match.
One thing is for sure – it won’t be the two-time TWG defending champion. Giuseppe Seimandi of Italy fell 79-76 to Demmer of the USA and buried his chances of becoming the first three-time gold medallist. Ottosson could meet the 2002 gold medallist once again in the final. Four years ago the Swede landed just outside the winner’s circle, missing out on a medal. Now he has a good feeling about wining and hopes it will carry him to his first medal. The positive energy could carry him – as could the wonderful atmosphere of the Games in Wrocław.
“It’s completely different from the archery world championships. Here you have a chance to see athletes from different discipines. For instance, I went to watch sumo and wrestling and besides that Wrocław is a very beautiful city,” says Ottosson. “The archery competitions are quite small, but because of that they include the world’s best, so it can end up being a very evenly-matched contest. I feel that it will go well tomorrow. But after all, it’s sport, so it’s hard to tell what will happen,” he commented after falling to Garcia Fernandez.
For the host nation, it was not the best day. On Friday, Poland will not be represented among the medal contenders. It was pouring rain as Marta Wiśniewska stepped out to shoot. “I can’t say that the weather helped me,” said the 21-year old rookie. “Your aim changes under those conditions and you have to adjust,” added Mateusz Siejko, Poland’s second rookie.
And true enough, the weather was no help. Wiśniewska fell in the first round of four to Japan’s Miyuki Maruyama. Siejko also lost his first match. He tried hard to put on a good show – perhaps too hard. “The World Games 2017 has been a huge experience for me, especially since I live here,” he said. “The stands were full of my friends, which was a huge motivation, but sometimes it’s too much. Unfortunately, it didn’t go so well today.”
The semifinals in barebow will start at 14.00 in Szczytnicki Park. The bronze medal match will come next, followed by both the men’s and women’s finals.