By Mark Etheridge
The South African men’s team shot their way to the compound bow silver medal at the World Cup event in Wroclaw, Poland on Saturday.
They went down 231-230 to the United States in the gold medal match.
A surprise finalist, the South African team was made up of Gabriel Badenhorst, DP Bierman and Patrick Roux. Badenhorst recently returned from South America where he took part in an international competition in Medellin, Colombia before joining the South African team at the World Games in Cali, also Colombia.
Badenhorst will now get some valuable World Games experience as the 2017 World Games will also be held in Wroclaw.
To make the final, the SA team beat France, champions in Medellin, and the Netherlands. South Africa won gold in Antalya, Turkey three years ago, albeit with a completely different line-upt to that in Poland.
Before this contest, the scores between USA and South Africa stood at one apiece.
On Saturday the United States took a small lead in the first end (59-58), the second end saw identical returns and at the halfway mark it was the US who led by two points.
The third end was once again all square but they took the final end and the match 232-230.
En route to the final, they beat world champions India in the 1/8th team elimination, taking that 24-arrow clash 233-232 in a nerve-wracking encounter. In their quarter-final against France they again won by just one point (232-231) and it was slightly easier going against Netherlands in the semi, 235-231.