By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s compound women’s archers made it to the semi-final stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup (Stage 4) in Berlin, Germany.
Only compound archers took part for SA in this competition, staged on the field used for polo events at the 1936 Olympic Games.
In the team stakes the SA women were represented by Gerda Roux, Jeanine van Kradenburg and Danelle Wentzel.
On their march to the semi-finals, the SA women beat France and India. Against France the score was 228-220 but things were a lot tighter against India.
The match ended all square at 229-229 and went into a shoot-off which SA won to set up a semi-final against the US. They went down 222-228 against the North Americans but that still saw them in with a chance as they went into the bronze medal match.
There they took on Denmark on a cold and miserable day with there being almost no protection against the elements for both archers and their equipment during pre-match practice.
Said team manager Barbara Manning: ‘Finally we were called and taken through to the arena in preparation for the bronze medal match.
‘The official who is with the team is “wired for sound” and the atmosphere in the tunnel was electric with the background staff getting instructions as to the timing of the event, the introduction of the two teams etc.
‘We were eventually given the nod to enter the arena – a very proud moment and a first for the women’s compound team. Our opponents for the bronze medal match was the team from Denmark and we lost the match 217-229.’
Manning, who actually competed on the same field way back in 1979, said the World Cup was encouraging in more ways than one.
‘The support from the team and archers from other countries for our ladies team in their path to the bronze medal match was very good to see. Our women’s team is strong and one that can beat the higher ranked countries.
‘On the Compound Men’s line, the number of archers who are shooting scores of 700 plus continues to increase – it’s good to see that our compound men are amongst this group. Thirty-nine archers on this line shot a score of 695 or more – an indication that our average score requirement of 695 for Protea team selection is possibly needing to be tweaked upwards slightly.
‘On the plus side, the composure from our archers, when a “loose” arrow has been shot and how quickly they get their next arrow back in the middle continues to improve and in many instances the “loose” arrows are getting fewer.’
A final word for the team: ‘Thanks for affording me the opportunity of seeing all your hard work continuing to pay off – it is not always easy to put in the many hours of practise whilst still holding down full time employment and family life.’
In the picture (left to right) Wentzel, Roux and Van Kradenburg celebrate victory over India courtesy of Dutch Target/Dean Alberga
Results of the other SA archers in action:
Men’s Individual compound: Patrick Roux (seventh), Seppie Cilliers (17th), Beyers de Klerk and Nicolas Weber (joint 57th)
Women’s Individual compound: Danelle Wentzel (17th), Jeanine van Kradenburg and Gerda Roux (joint 33rd)
Men’s team compound: Ninth
Mixed team compound: Ninth