Today we feature the first in a series of pre-event stories ahead of South Africa’s campaign at the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia. South Africa will be represented in nine different sporting codes. First up, MARK ETHERIDGE looks at the code of archery.
With the recurve bow the only bow allowed in Olympic competition, the World Games in Cali, Colombia will serve as Gabriel Badenhorst’s equivalent.
In fact, the World Games is the premier sporting competition for many a sporting code not contested at the Olympic Games.
Bloemfontein based Badenhorst, who owns a transport company, is Team South Africa’s sole archery competitor in the compound competition and he’ll be accompanied on the long haul to Cali by veteran manager/coach Barbara Manning.
Currently 38 years old, Bloemfontein’s Badenhorst is no stranger to the international scene, having competed at three World Cup events, two World Championships events and an Indoor World Cup (last year in Las Vegas, US).
He booked his ticket to Colombia by finishing in fourth spot at the World Championships in Italy two years ago, beating some of the world’s best archers on his way to the medal matches.
Says national archery President Selwyn Moskovitz: “Gabriel’s one of our top archers and he’ll be one of the 24 top archers in the world that compete. He’s been putting in a great about of work, but is hampered by lack of arrows and butts. It has been very difficult in getting him this basic equipment because of lack of funds but despite this obstacle, there’s a very good likelihood that he will make it into the semi-final, and from there its a matter of skills, nerves and readiness.
“SASCOC have provided us with a ticket to shoot in a tournament just before the World Games where he will face his competitors. This will give us a better indication of how he will do.
“It’s very difficult to predict how he will do at the World Games because we have not competed internationally for a while (only because of lack of money) and just going on the scores is not a perfect way of measuring performance because of different weather conditions in different countries (its one thing shooting in Bloemfontein where there is no wind and another shooting in an environment where there is snow).
“What we need to do is to have the same conditions for the same competitors, and that we will get in the next few weeks.”
Says manager Manning: “In preparation for the World Games, Gabriel will be attending the World Cup event in Medellin, Colombia from 15-21 July and I expect that many of the athletes that he will be up against in Cali, will be at this event. He is shooting some of his best scores at the moment so the World Cup should be a real confidence booster.”
Other countries who have qualified for the archery competition are: Australia, Canada, Colombia, El Savador, France, Islam Republic of Iran, USA, Denmark, Germany, India, Italy, Mexico, ┬áNamibia, Netherlands, Thailand and Vietnam.
“Anyone who wins, is going to have to be on their A game right from the start and hold it together especially in the head-to-head event,” says Manning.
Individual athletes will play matches of 15 arrows (shot from 50-metres with cumulative score); in case of a tie, a shoot-off of one arrow will be played.