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SA trio take gold in Turkey

Bullseye! The South African Archery team took gold medal in the Archery World Cup in Antalya, Turkey at the weekend first making the cut-off of 32 countries, and shooting it out to the gold medal match against the USA.

The current world team champion USA were the favourites to win this match after having beaten South African at the 2009 Ulsan World Championships in Korea 235-225. But Riaan Crowther, Nico Benade and Seppie Cilliers had other ideas.

The USA (Ben Cleland, Braden Gellenghien and Rodger Willet, Jr.) took the lead from the start 2-0 (2-1).

Both teams shot two hits in the second set. So the USA were still leading, 3-1.

South Africa shot a perfect third end, while the USA had more trouble with the wind and managed only one hit, allowing South Africa to come back 3-3.

The South African archers stayed in the yellow in the next set, but this time their performance was watched by the Americans. South Africa was perfect again in the fifth set (for a total of nine hits in a row!) to win two more set points and lead 6-4. Both teams shot only one hit in the sixth set, which meant victory 7-5 for the South Africans. It’s the first ever gold medal at this level for this team!

The match really became more intense in the third set with three hits from the South Africans, in which the Americans answered with three hits in the next set.

What’s more, these teams were shooting in quite difficult windy conditions. South Africa handled this final really well, and by shooting three perfect sets in a row, they put the pressure on the Americans coming into the sixth set and won their first final.

They managed to handle the pressure of this big event and be more accurate in their shooting than their American counterparts.