Croatian junior Mlinaric celebrates first world title in Madrid

Amanda Mlinaric of Croatia beat Turkey’s Ipek Tomruk, 144-142, to win the compound junior women’s gold medal and claim her maiden world title at the 2019 World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid, Spain.

“It feels surreal. It was a dream come true. I worked so hard for this and my training has finally paid off,” the 18-year-old champion said.

Ranked 16th in the world as a senior, Mlinaric arrived in Madrid as one of the top contenders for the title.

But after the first two ends of the final, she trailed by two points. Things quickly changed in the third as she shot 29 points to Tomruk’s 27 and they were tied.

“I didn’t change anything. But in my mind I thought: ‘I need to shoot a 10, I need to shoot another 10.’ And so I just did. I focused on my technique and it went well,” she said.

After 12 arrows, Mlinaric was one point ahead.

Tomruk shot 29 points with her last three arrows and Mlinaric needed to match her to win gold next to Madrid’s Royal Palace. Instead, she shot a perfect 30.

“The first two arrows seemed like all the others in the match. But that last arrow, I was very shaky,” she said. “In the end, I managed to send it to the centre. I was like, ‘I did it, it’s finally over, I made it’.”

The Croatian archer will not turn 21 until 2022 so she can attempt to defend her world title at the next World Archery Youth Championships in 2021.

Elisa Roner of Italy took the compound junior women’s bronze medal. 

She beat the number one ranked compound woman in the world, Alexis Ruiz, 144-140, to the last spot on the podium.

“It feels great. Before I came here, I really wanted to win. But I got into the bronze medal match, that’s great anyway,” said Roner.

Aged 18, she can also participate in the next World Archery Youth Championships.

She might even be on a team with her friend Elisa Bazzichetto, who won compound cadet women’s bronze earlier in the day.

“From the moment I woke up, I wasn’t feeling like I was going to win. But after my mate Elisa came away with bronze, I said: ‘I’m going to make it, too!’ And the rest of the day was full of emotions,” she said.

The 2019 World Archery Youth Championships takes place on 19-25 August in Madrid, Spain.