The South Africa National Archery Association (SANAA) has announced that the upcoming Pre-Commonwealth Games and National Championships will be the selection for the juniors to take part in the World Youth Championships, the pathway to the Youth Olympics.
The selection tournament will be held at the High Performance Centre in Pretoria between 27-30 March, where as many as 200 foreign and domestic athletes, including a former Olympian and several world ranked archers are expected to participate.
According to Mrs Barbara Manning, the SANAA secretary, ÔÇ£It has been many years since South African archery has been able to offer the world archery platform such a range of young talentÔÇØ.
Leading the front for the World Youth Archery Championships, to be held later in the year in the USA, Jorina Coetzee from Mpumalanga is a favourite. Ranked eight in the world, she has been training tirelessly for the past year and will reveal her new form and performance at the championships.
In the junior men division, Daniel Pearson (Gauteng) is a strong hopeful, followed by newcomer archers Craig Stevens (WP), Nico Benade (North Gauteng) and Reiner Theron (Gauteng).
Two styles of archery will be shot at the championships – the recurve bow and the compound bow.┬á The latter consists of wheels and pulleys and is more powerful and the less complicated Recurve bow.┬á The Recurve bow is also known as the Olympic style bow as it’s the recognised bow type for the Olympics.
Two of the junior archers in the Recurve Division, who will be eligible for the World Youth Olympics are Nicholas Ho (Gauteng) and Aidan van der Westhuizen (KZN).┬á Both archers represented South Africa at the 2008 World Junior Championships and performed above expectation.┬á The potential Olympians have taken aim and will be demonstrating their capability at the Championships.
Nicholas recently attended a coaching session with FITA International Coach Mun, resulting in a high level improvement to his score, and qualifying for the South African Archery Gold Squad.