Preview: Lilleshall hosts last-chance qualifier for European Games
The outdoor season officially started on 1 April – no April Fools – and the first major event on the calendar is the European Grand Prix in Lilleshall, Great Britain.
Its size matches its significance. More than 310 archers are at the home of Archery GB this week – where construction of a new archery centre has just started – looking for world ranking points and, perhaps more critically, quota places for this summer’s European Games.
More on that below. More on the names to watch here.
World number ones Katharina Bauer and Ella Gibson are on the docket – the latter competing at an international on home soil for the very first time. Gibson was unbeaten on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit last season… until she lost the final to incumbent champion Sara Lopez.
You just know that she wants to right that wrong. Time for Ella to set the tone, early, at home.
What’s happening? The first Grand Prix of the year on 3-8 April in Lilleshall, Great Britain.
What’s at stake? World ranking points – and quota places for this summer’s European Games.
Who’s competing? More than 310 archers from 38 countries plus independents.
What’s the story? There are 32 quota places for the European Games on offer at this week’s tournament – including two in each of the recurve team events. It’s the last chance to secure tickets and demand far outstrips supply.
Qualification for the European Games
There are 32 quota places for this summer’s European Games available in Lilleshall – which will add to those won at last year’s European Championships.
Two teams will qualify in both the recurve men’s and recurve women’s events, and then five tickets are available in each of the four individual categories. All of the spots will be distributed in secondary tournaments, the teams on Thursday and individuals on Friday.
These are the teams competing for the full quotas.
Recurve men: Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Sweden and Türkiye.
Recurve women: Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, France, Great Britain, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland and Ukraine.
- Monday 3 April: Recurve qualifying
- Tuesday 4 April: Compound qualifying
- Wednesday 5 April: Eliminations
- Thursday 6 April: Eliminations and European Games team qualification
- Friday 7 April: European Games qualification
- Saturday 8 April: Finals
How to watch
Watch live footage on the World Archery YouTube channel. Live scores will be available on the World Archery website and there will be coverage on World Archery’s digital platforms throughout the competition.
Full entries are available online. These are the top-ranked archers shooting in Lilleshall:
- Recurve men: Florian Unruh, Germany (world rank: 5)
- Recurve women: Katharina Bauer, Germany (world rank: 1)
- Compound men: Nico Wiener, Austria (world rank: 4)
- Compound women: Ella Gibson, Great Britain (world rank: 1)
Competition at the Grand Prix in Lilleshall starts with recurve qualifying later today.