Meet the team: Italy’s young Olympians Pasqualucci and Boari

From a field of veterans and experienced athletes, it was David Pasqualucci and Lucilla Boari who were selected by the Italian national archery federation to represent the country’s recurve interested at its home Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Rome.

The host nation of any edition of the event is given one wildcard in each competition.

David, 21, and Lucilla, 20, were part of the Italian team that competed at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – both making their debuts.

After qualifying high, David lost to Antonio Fernandez from Spain in the second round and finished 17th. Lucilla came 33rd, losing to Australia’s Alice Ingley in the first round, then came fourth with the recurve women’s team.

One year later, with the Olympic experience under their belts, David and Lucilla compete in front of a sympathetic home crowd in Rome.

David has two-time World Archery Champion Kim Woojin in his first match, a quarterfinal, at this, his first Hyundai Archery World Cup Final; Lucilla is drawn against reigning Olympic Champion Chang Hye Jin – also in her first appearance at this tournament.

While statistics may lean the Korean way, neither archer is frightened.

What does this opportunity to compete in front of a home crowd mean to you?

David Pasqualucci: “For me it’s a very especial event because my hometown is about 30 minutes away. The Stadio dei Marmi is also a very historical venue and makes me happy to have the opportunity to shoot here.”

Lucilla Boari: “This is the first World Cup Final I make it to, so it gives me a lot of pride to shoot in Rome, in Italy. I have no expectations yet, but I hope I can do well.”

Does shooting here bring extra pressure?

David: “No pressure at all. I think this is our moment, we are young archers and we can play our cards against the more experienced and bigger ones out there on the field. We can surprise people.”

Lucilla: "I try not to think much about it, probably because I’m still young and we still have a long way to go.”

You get to spend a lot of time together, how’s the team atmosphere?

David: “We’ve been living together for about three years now in the National Archery Centre in Cantalupa, which is close to Turin. The atmosphere is good. The older guys like Mauro Nespoli, Marco Galiazzo, Michele Frangilli are really good with us. They have taught me a lot.”

How have you changed since the Olympics in Rio?

David: “I haven’t changed much except that now I can take my bad shots easier than I used to. My mental part has improved and is helping me to stay more relaxed while shooting.”

Lucilla: “Some things have changed since Rio. Being part of the team that gave Italy its best finish in the recurve women’s team at the Olympics is still special for me. But in general, I think I have grown up a lot.”

What will it take for you to win your first matches?

David: “I need to do a match like the one I did in Antalya to win against Kim. I want to win my first medal at a World Cup Final, especially here because it’s home. The level is high and any archer shooting here can make it.”

“If it'’ not me, and I have to think about one archer in particular, then I think Sjef can win it.”

Lucilla: “I have Chang in the first match, she’s the Olympic Champion and one of the best in the world, so if I want to beat her I have to do something different which is shooting many 10s! [laughs].”

“It’s not impossible.”

The 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final takes place on 2/3 September in Rome, Italy.