By Mark Etheridge
The country’s top archers will be vying for spots at not one but two global competitions at the end of the month.
South Africa’s top bowmen and women head off to neighbouring Namibia for archery’s Continental Qualifying Tournament (CQT) and the tournament serves as a qualifying platform for both the Rio Olympics and the 2017 World Games in Poland.
SASCOC requirements for the Olympics are over and above the CQT and the country’s men’s archers will have to shoot scores of 650 (from a distance of 70 metres) while the women will have to reach a mark of 630 from the same distance.
Says national archery president Selwyn Moskovitz: ‘The chances of us winning a slot at the CQT are very high, but we’ll have to refuse that due to the selection policy. The qualifying requirement is equal to the continental record and, if by some chance our archers shoot that score, then we’ll send them to an international event and if they shoot that score again it will secure us a place at Rio. That said though, the SASCOC qualifying score was last shot some four years ago, so chances aren’t great that we’ll meet the requirements.’
Looking further ahead though… to the World Games in Wroclaw which look a lot more promising goal for the South African National Archery Association (SANAA).
‘The reason for competing in Namibia will also be because it’s a qualifier for World Games and I’m confident that we can win a men’s and women’s places for next year,’ says Moskovitz.
London Olympian Karen Hultzer and fellow recurve archer Vivien de Klerk both earned an Olympic Solidarity bursary organised by World Archery and the two will be part of an invaluable week-long training camp run the the World Archery Federation. That gets underway on Wednesday.
Johan Steyn, National Coaches Chairman and part of Team SA at the 2012 Olympics, will accompany the duo. Both of them achieved the minim World Archery qualifying score for the Olympic Round (610).
The full team for Namibia is:
Recurve Men: Vivien de Klerk (Protea Colours), Terence van Moerkerken, Marco di Matteo. Recurve Women: Sandra Prinsloo, Karen Hultzer, Yolandi van Dyk. Compound Men: Patrick Roux (Protea Colours), Riaan Crowther (Protea Colours), Seppie Cilliers (Protea Colours). Compound Women: Lilian Brink, Lizl Kuschke, Lizeth de Wet.
The team shows one late change with Sera Cornelius having to withdraw for personal reasons and being replaced by Brink.
The team will be fully funded from the Sanaa Special fund.
On a sad note, Moskovitz will step aside as SANAA president after the Namibia tournament. ‘And I’m looking forward to stepping down with a number of gold medals at that event.
‘Its my third Olympic Cycle as president and time for some new ideas. I’ve done what I can do to take the federation from what it was to what it is today.
‘For the past two years I have been training successors and in 2014 when I gave notice of my intention to step down, I had great support by our volunteers to learn all the aspects of the federation. So, I leave the position knowing that everything is in place and that it can only improve.’