Bjorklund among last four to make barebow semifinals at World Games

Lina Bjorklund at the 2022 World Games

Lina Bjorklund, Christina LyonsRyan Davis and Michael Meyer won their respective pools during barebow eliminations on Thursday to complete the final four line-ups at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

“I feel great. My coach gave me a new thing in my technique so I had something to focus on,” said Bjorklund. “I shot correctly, technically in each round so I am very pleased.”

The Swedish archer will now face reigning champion Cinzia Noziglia in the semifinals in a rematch of their final at the 2017 World Games in Wroclaw, Poland. Noziglia prequalified through to the final four thanks to seeding top.

She beat Finnish number two seed Anne Viljanen in a match, winning the right to decide to shoot against the winner of pool A, which turned out to be Bjorklund. The advantage could end up falling with the Swede, however. She seeded just seventh and had to survive three matches on a similar – though not the same – course that will be used for Friday’s finals. 

Bjorklund defeated Andrea Payer, Ana Maria Cano Garcia and Tina Gutman.

“She had a choice and I am a little bit surprised that she chose to be in the pool which I was in. Maybe she does not want to meet me in the final… she wants to knock me out in the semifinal,” said Bjorklund smiling. “It’s either me or her all the time. Anything can happen, but, most of all, I am really pleased that I made it to the final four.”

Viljanen will take on the host nation’s Christina Lyons in the other semifinal.  The US athlete seeded fourth and defeated Martina Boscher to win her pool and achieve a career result, saying afterwards that she was “ecstatic”.

“I did not expect to get there. I have been shooting for three years and this is my first international competition,” continued the 46-year-old. “Shooting with all these women is amazing and it is an honour. I looked up to many of them and I wanted to be like them. [Now] I am here with them, so it is super exciting going to the semifinals.”

USA's Ryan Davis at the 2022 World Games

Lightning in Alabama caused the delay of some sports in the afternoon but Avondale Park was far enough away to be spared any issues. Instead, two-time World Games Champion Erik Jonsson and rookie Leo Pettersson opened the barebow men’s session with a gripping duel. Pettersson, who is less than half the age of his self-declared role model and the number two seed, beat the top qualifier in the show match, 78-77, and picked pool B for his semifinal.

That would become home nation archer and Thursday hero Ryan Davis.

The US archer seeded 10th and was one of the first to enter the eliminations arena. Despite the long path ahead, and the heat and humidity on the course, he was relentless. Davis won four matches in a row.

“It was a long day, but it feels amazing. Especially at home,” before being asked whether shooting more matches helped. “Maybe for pressure, but not for terrain advantage or anything like that.”

Davis has nothing to lose entering the final four.

“These are the best guys in the world here,” he said. “I am going to go, make good shots and shoot my form.”

Germany’s Michael Meyer defeated two-time World Games Champion Giuseppe Seimandi of Italy (84-81) in the only match he needed to win to set up a semifinal with Jonsson.

“It is amazing. It is a great feeling to advance to the semifinal. The World Games are the biggest event you get in field archery. I am very happy,” he said.

The German archer recovered from a slow start, totalling six points on the first target and falling six points behind early.

“I was very nervous and upset on the first target because I did not shoot that well,” explained Meyer. “Giuseppe had an advantage because he just shot the same targets and you could see that on the first target. It was tough.”

After the fourth target, Meyer had edged in front (51-48) – and held a two-point lead before the last three arrows. He said that “the most important was the last target” and that despite the advantage it was “very hard to go all the way”. He did, shooting 16 points to Seimandi’s 15 and winning, 84-81.

Competition at the World Games concludes on Friday with the barebow finals.

Final fours: 2022 World Games

The barebow medal matches are scheduled for Friday 15 July. The archers are listed in semifinal pairs and their seed is given in brackets.

Barebow men

Barebow women