A nine strong team of archers attended the 20th European and Mediterranean Archery Outdoor Target Championships in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The event was also an opportunity to qualify for either the Olympic Games or the World Games. For the recurve archers there was an additional head to head competition to compete for the remaining European qualifying places for the London 2012 Olympics, there were 3 places were available in both men and womens categories. In the compound classes the best 3 men and women at the European Championships could qualify to take part at next year’s World Games in Cali, Colombia. The team included; Sinead Cuthbert (Recurve Women), Joe Gill (Recurve Men), Colin Griffin (Compound Men), Robert Hall (Compound Men), Keith Hanlon (Recurve Men), Mel Lawther (Compound Women), Brendan O’Hanlon (Recurve Men), Maeve Reidy (Recurve Women) and John Smith (Compound Men).
In the qualification round for the men’s recurve the Keith, Joe and Brendan shot 623, 617 and 612 respectively. These results ranked them in 56th, 64th and 71st places in the European championships and in 38th, 46th and 53rd places in the Olympic qualifier which excluded archers from countries who have already qualified a male recurve spot.
Maeve and Sinead qualified in 44th and 58th places in the European championships and in 18th and 31st places in the Olympic qualifier for the women’s recurve with scores of 606 and 589 respectively.
The recurve scores placed both the men’s recurve team, which consists of 3 male archers, and the mixed recurve team, which is made up of one male and one female archer, in 21st place. The top 16 teams in each category went through to the elimination rounds.
In the men’s compound division Colin, John and Robert shot 678, 675 and 674 respectively. These result ranked them in 42nd, 48th and 50th places. Their shooting earned them a mens team ranking of 14th and a place in the team elimination rounds later in the week.
Mel Lawther qualified in 22nd in the women’s compound with a 665. This also ranked the compound mixed team, consisting of Colin and Mel, in 15th place. This gave them a first round match with the Italian mixed team in the elimination rounds.
The first round of the compound mens individual elimination took place directly after their qualification round. While Colin and Rob progressed to the 1/24 round John was knocked out in a close match which ended with one point between the archers (139-138). During this round Rob shot a great round of 145 to eliminate his Turkish opponent.
The following day saw the continuation of the elimination rounds for the compound men and women. Unfortunately Colin and Rob were eliminated in the 1/24 rounds, this gave Colin and Rob a ranking of 33rd and John a final ranking of 57th.
In her matches Mel achieved a great result knocking out the 11th seed on her way to the ? elimination round and a ranking of 9th.
In the elimination rounds of the European championships the recurve men were unfortunate to go out in the first round with both Brendan and Keith’s matches coming down to single arrow shoot-offs. In the women’s recurve Sinead went out in the 1/48th round despite good scoring. Maeve shot strongly through three matches to meet the 5th ranked Lidiia Sichenikova (UKR) in the 1/8th round, going out 7-3 in a close match.
In the Olympic qualification event for recurve held on the Friday, Joe was knocked out in the first round having led the match 4-0. Brendan got to the second round, 1/24, where he went out to the Swedish archer Magnus Petersson and Keith made it to the 1/16 round before losing out to the 6th seed.
In the women’s matches Sinead won her first match to go through to the 1/16 round against Sweden’s Christine Bjerendal. Bjerendal won the match and went through to meet Maeve in the ? round. Maeve had won her 1/16 round match but also lost out to Bjerendal in their ? round match.
The results were a strong performance as a team and well done to Mel and Maeve on 9th place rankings.