The men’s final proved to be an epic showdown between Hoyt teammates Pierre-Julien DELOCHE (FRA) and Sergio PAGNI (ITA), who had both scored 150 points to qualify for the final. PAGNI’s new European record in qualifications showed he is in great form – and so is DELOCHE, as exemplified by his team gold medal at the Medellin World Cup and individual silver at the World Games. Both men are also qualified for the World Cup Finals. Historically, the odds were in favor of the Italian archer, winner of all his four previous encounters with DELOCHE.
Once this gold medal final began, there was no stopping these two men, who each shot 29s in the first two ends, making it a 58-all match. The French archer dropped five points in the third end, trailing 85-86 – and then reacted by shooting only 10s, while PAGNI failed to apply enough pressure for a comeback. DELOCHE’s victory at 145-143 brought him the first major individual gold medal of his career.
The all-Hoyt women’s final featured the top two archers in the world, Albina LOGINOVA and Erika JONES (USA). This match had special significance for LOGINOVA, who lost the top spot of the world ranking to JONES earlier this summer. The American archer was very confident thanks to her recent World Games victory and new world record, which she tied again this week in qualifications.
These athletes have met eight times in the past four years, with JONES leading the victory count 5-3. But it was LOGINOVA who won their most recent encounter last year. And, for the gold final, the double world champion led through most of the match, but the American archer came back on the last arrow to tie the score. With a 10-9 victory in the one-arrow shoot-off, LOGINOVA achieved her first major individual victory since Antalya 2012. For JONES, it is the third individual World Cup silver this season, after Shanghai and Medellin.
“Erika is very strong this year and I am even happier to have won because I had not been shooting very well this season”, said Loginova. “What’s more, it gives me more confidence for the two upcoming competitions that are the most important for me: the World Cup Finals and the World Championships. I hope to further improve my form before then.”
The bronze medal match had special significance. Hoyt shooter, Korea’s CHOI Bomin, runner-up at the 2007 World Cup Final, had disappeared from the international scene after that, until this season. With a fifth place finish in Shanghai and ninth in Antalya this year, she had no choice but to win the bronze medal to qualify for the Paris Final. In her first encounter with Team Hoyt standout Kristina BERGER (GER), already qualified for the Final, CHOI started the match well and took a small lead. But BERGER came back in the third end. Under pressure, CHOI just managed to force a shoot-off at 143-143. The German archer shot a 10, and the Korean only a 9. With the bronze medal BERGER matches her third place from Antalya. As a consequence of CHOI’s defeat, the seventh spot in the World Cup Final race goes to Team Hoyt’s Pascale LEBECQUE (FRA), and as host country France receives a wild card for one additional athlete.
World Archery Communications and Hoyt Staff
Photos: Dean ALBERGA, World Archery