South Africa shot their way to a total of 25 medals at the 2010 World Field Archery Championships held in Dahn, Germany earlier this month.
The South African team consisting of 24 Protea archers and 12 SANIFAA archers formed part of the 636 archers represented by 25 countries to attend this international archery tournament.
Our medal haul was made up of 13 gold, seven silver and five bronze medals and the South African team were truly welcomed by host country Germany. The South African team featured on the front page of the local newspaper the morning after the Team of Nations March through the main street of Dahn.
The five-day tournament was shot on five different ranges for the senior archers with a dedicated range for the juniors.┬á Each range consisting of 28 targets with marked distances from 20ft to 80 yards. In this type of archery discipline, it is the assessment of the surroundings where the target is placed, perfect bow-tuning, concentration and mental preparedness that would distinguish the top archers from the rest.
From day one of the competition the South African team had to brave wet weather conditions and extremely difficult ranges, set up in the surrounding forests of Dahn.┬á Slippery and muddy conditions as well as the darkness in the forest also forced the South Africans to adapt very quickly and focus on every arrow that was shot.
After the first day of competition the junior archers were in top positions in the senior male freestyle and bowhunter as well as the bowhunter ladies team in first, second, and third respectively.┬á Danelle Wentzel and Dimitri Amado both shot a new world record for the Junior Female Freestyle and the Junior Male Bowhunter style in the Field Round.
The second day of competition did not produce any changes in the positions for the South African team.┬á Koos de Wet, Jakkie Flemming, Rika Landsberg, Herman Fourie, Dimitri Amado and Danelle Wentzel kept their first position ranking with Dimitri setting another new world record score of 541/560 in the JMBU style for the Hunter round.
As fatigue started to settle in, the concentration and focus started to drop which resulted in only a few archers managing to obtain a full score in the animal round on the third day of the tournament.┬á Koos de Wet, Kobus Clarence, Willem van Schalkwyk, Wesley Gates and Johan van Stryp all obtained a full score of 560/560 for the animal round and therefore equaled the current World Record in their respective styles.
The South Africans kept their lead in the top three ranking archers of each style they competed in for the next two days of the tournament with Danelle Wentzel shooting another two new World records on day four and five of the competition.
South Africa also won the team style competition in the Male Freestyle Unlimited and the Male Bowhunter Unlimited division.