By Mark Etheridge
Our archers will head for the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India next month with a spring in their step.
A team of archers recently returned from the fourth leg of the 2010 World Cup in Shanghai, China. This was a crucial Commonwealth warm-up for the team with most of the participating countries using it as their final preparation tournament.
The team was made up of three male archers — Seppie Cilliers, Nico Benade, Koos de Wet, one female archer ÔÇô Jorina Coetzee — and team manager Barbara Manning.
Although the team all fared well, on this occasion it was Edenville’s Koos de Wet who stood out. He won silver in the individual men’s competition, losing out to New Zealand’s Shaun Teasdale.
Despite the enthusiastic support of his team members the 34-year-old De Wet Free State farmer was up against a fired-up Teasdale who did not put a foot wrong and won 6-2, the scores being 30-30-29-29 for Teasdale and 27-29-29-29 for De Wet.
Said team manager Manning: “I cannot tell you how proud I am┬á to once again see a South African on the medal podium ÔÇô everytime we win or improve our final placings justifies the time and effort that our archers put into improving their shooting and confirms that we are heading the right way with the squad programme.
“Looking at the archers who have made the cut for the Finals ÔÇô our archers who attend the other legs of the world cup grand prix series, would have a very good chance of making the top 7 in the world. We need to look at what can be done next year to try and get a challenge series going.”
Other results for our team members saw Cilliers end ninth, Benade 17th and young Jorina Coetzee 17th. In the men’s team competition, SA finished fifth and the mixed team took the same position.
More importantly though in the short-term context and had they been competing against only Commonwealth countries, Cilliers would have ended fifth, Benade sixth, Coetzee 11th, the men’s team fourth and the mixed team first. All good news ahead of the Commonwealth Games.
During the competition, Coetzee had the bad luck of been chosen for two drug tests during the competition and De Wet was also one of those chosen.
Team SA’s participation was made possible due to the continued funding of the Lottery Board.