Noziglia feeling the pressure on road to second World Games crown

Cinzia Noziglia at the World Games 2022

On Wednesday, Cinzia Noziglia topped barebow women’s qualification at the 2022 World Games with a 21-point advantage (312) over Finland's Anne Viljanen (291).

That meant a direct ticket into the final four and shortened her path to a second consecutive World Games title to just two wins in matchplay.

“I am very proud to be the defending champion but it is very difficult,” said the 37-year-old, who won the event five years ago in Poland. “The pressure is very high. I try not to think about that. I always try to think about shooting and nothing else.”

In 2017, everything worked perfectly for the emerging Italian archer. 

“These are beautiful memories. That was a lovely place and it was amazing to win there. The way that I shot in the final match was great. I said to myself 'do not think anything, just about shooting'. It was like a flow,” she said. Noziglia beat Sweden’s Lina Bjorklund in the final, 49-45.

She is hopeful of replicating that flow in Birmingham.

“I will try to find that state of mind. I tried [in qualification] to find this feeling. I did not start well, but the last arrows were better,” she said at halfway when she was 12 points up on Viljanen. 

Noziglia has been one of the best barebow women in the world for nearly a decade. Earlier this year, she broke records on her way to winning the first-ever barebow title at the European Indoor Archery Championships.

“It was a very important competition for barebow,” she said about that event. “I am very proud of that. It was the next step for barebow. So far, we have just indoor but, hopefully, there will be also an outdoor competition.”

Cinzia Noziglia at Wroclaw 2017

In Birmingham, the barebow competition is outdoors – but not in the target discipline. Instead, it’s on the field course, which is the format of the sport that introduced the bowstyle to international tournaments.

“I prefer field because you have a lot of different targets and distances,” said Noziglia.

“Field is more difficult technically, but maybe indoor is more difficult mentally to maintain focus. Indoor is always about the same target, the same arrow, the same place. In field, you have a lot of different targets and distances,” she explained.

“I enjoy field archery more, but indoor is very important for shooting.”

Noziglia is the one to beat on the field course in Avondale Park in Birmingham. The stakes will be high for whoever meets her in the semifinal on Friday.

“I still have to shoot good and I hope to shoot as I know to shoot. Then, if someone shoots better, no problem,” she said.

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