New format makes qualification matter says Anderson

Reigning champion Steve Anderson is a fan of the new competition format introduced at the 2018 World Archery Field Championships in Cortina.

For the first time, the top two qualifiers in each division have been pre-seeded into the semifinals. The subsequent 20 seeds were split into four groups of five for elimination shoot-ups – the lowest ranked shooting against the next, and the winner against the next – until only one remains in each group. Two matches between the four group winners then decide the last two semifinalists.

As the top-ranked compound man, Anderson skips the eliminations.

“It’s a huge boon, mostly because the unmarked round didn’t matter before,” he said. “To have qualification and especially the unmarked round – which I think is the pinnacle of archery and should be all we do here – to have that matter, it’s nice.”

At previous world field championships, the top 16 archers after the 48-target qualification advanced to a 12-target elimination. That cut the list by eight, leaving eight to contest the four finals places over another 12-target elimination course.

After each stage, scores reset to zero.

But in Cortina, with the top two athletes after the first phase gaining a bye through to the latter stages of the competition, qualification scores had a huge impact.

“Obviously it helped me out here. I usually shoot a good unmarked score, here I didn’t shoot the best, but I was able to hang and shoot a good marked round and take the top spot, and make at least the medal match,” said Anderson.

“I’m going to have a semifinal against who-knows-who, try to win that and get after the gold medal again.”

A man from the USA has won the compound title at the World Archery Field Championships for the last five editions. Anderson, if he can repeat, will make it six in a row.

He scored 826 points out of a possible 864 for qualification, 410 on the unmarked course and 416 on the marked 24 targets, to lead by four – and take a gigantic step towards defending his title.

Domagoj Buden and world number one Mike Schloesser, shooting at his first world field, tied in second on 822 points. The pair shot a single-arrow tiebreak on a 60-metre target next to the practice field to decide who would take the second bye into the semifinals, which Buden won, six to five.

Schloesser enters the shoot-up eliminations as the top-ranked archer in the groups.

The 2018 World Archery Field Championships takes place in Cortina, Italy on 4-9 September.