Two Swedes – Jonsson and rookie Pettersson top barebow qualifying

Leo Pettersson and Erik Jonsson of Sweden at the 2022 World Games

Two-time World Games Champion Erik Jonsson and his rookie Swedish teammate Leo Pettersson seeded one-two in the barebow men’s event, while title-holder Cinzia Noziglia of Italy came in ahead of Finland's Anne Viljanen over the women’s qualifying round, as all four booked early tickets into the final fours at the 2022 World Games in Alabama, USA on Wednesday.

Qualification took place over 12 unmarked and 12 marked targets set around Avondale Park in the city of Birmingham.

Jonsson, who won the World Games in 2001 and 2005, is now one step closer to matching fellow countryman Morgan Lundin’s record of three titles at the multisport event. Jonsson led today’s field with 340 points. 

“I am quite satisfied. I am in the semis so it is good,” he said. “Unmarked was good and marked was not so good. I have some things to work out, just small things. It is a timing issue so nothing big. I hope to do it now or on Thursday morning.”

He will meet his fellow Swede, Leo Pettersson, in a show match to decide which semifinal opponent they will face. For Pettersson, who is at his first World Games, the contest means much more than just an exhibition match. 

“It will be amazing for me just to shoot against him, but winning would be even better. We are great friends and he is my biggest idol. I have been looking up to him since I started archery,” said the 18-year-old, who scored just five points fewer than Jonsson with 335.

“The unmarked course was quite tough but I am still happy with my shooting. When I got into the rhythm of just doing my thing and having fun, it worked out. It was a fun day and I am happy.”

Cinzia Noziglia at the World Games 2022

Cinzia Noziglia dominated the barebow women’s course, despite it being reduced from 24 targets to 23.

One of the unmarked targets was voided from the results following an appeal from the USA’s Christina Lyons, who said that target number nine was not fully visible when shooting. Her appeal was upheld by the jury. 

Nozigilia still finished 21 points ahead of Anne Viljanen – as the Italian archer seeks to defend her title won five years ago.

“I am very happy. I did not expect to shoot so well,” she said. “I do not have a good feeling, but I am happy.”

The 37-year-old,  who has also won European field and 3D titles as well as the World Archery 3D Championships, remained cautious about her chances of securing a second consecutive World Games gold.

“Maybe I found the feeling here,” she said. “With this formula of eliminations and finals, nothing is decided yet. Maybe I am the favourite but I still have to shoot and to shoot great.”

Noziglia and Viljanen will be joined in the barebow women’s final four by the winners of tomorrow’s two shoot-up elimination pools. The lowest-seeded archer in each pool shoots against the next-lowest, with the winner facing the next-lowest, and so on until only one archer from each pool remains. The top two seeds avoid this phase of the event.

“I am surprised,” said 52-year-old Viljanen about making the top two. “I was quite focused the whole day but I did not have that feeling that it was very good. But I am very happy and amazed.”

The 52-year-old from Finland is now one semifinal away from her first international medal. 

Competition at the World Games continues with barebow eliminations on Thursday. 

Top seeds: Barebow men

Top two seeds prequalify for final four. Unmarked/marked scores given in brackets.

  1. Erik Jonsson, Sweden – 340 (178/162)
  2. Leo Pettersson, Sweden – 335 (168/167)
  3. David Garcia Fernandez, Spain – 334 (172/162)
  4. Michael Meyer, Germany – 333 (170/163)

Top seeds: Barebow women

Top two seeds prequalify for final four. Unmarked/marked scores given in brackets.

  1. Cinzia Noziglia, Italy – 312 (159/153)
  2. Anne Viljanen, Finland – 291 (147/144)
  3. Tina Gutman, Slovenia – 288 (143/145)
  4. Christina Lyons, USA – 284 (131/153)

Note: Unmarked target number nine was declared void for the barebow women after an appeal.