Best in Limerick? Under-18s amaze at world youth championships
The Limerick 2023 World Archery Youth Championships saw the emergence of new talented nations on the world stage.
Archers from Korea, India and USA are generally expected to do well and often cited among the favourites regardless of the age groups. This was confirmed by victories of Oh Yejin, Parth Sushant Salunkhe, Priyansh and Sydney Sullenberger in the under-21 individual competitions.
But other nations revealed themselves in Ireland, as did Lithuania and Israel with a first-ever medal – silver – courtesy Jonas Grigaravicius in the compound under-18 men's individual event and the pair Shamai Yamrom and Romi Maymon in compound under-21 mixed team.
With yet another historic first by a 15-year-old, and two under-18 teenagers confirming hopes placed in them on the senior circuit...
3. Aditi Swami, India
The 17-year-old became a two-time Youth World Champion in Limerick, following in the footsteps of her nomination as one of three next-gen most impressive archers from the latest Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Medellin.
In her debut season, Swami had already topped compound women’s senior qualifying in Colombia in June – raising the under-18 world record to 711 points in the process – before collecting bronze with the Indian women’s team.
What else does the Indian teenager have up her sleeve?
2. Baptiste Addis, France
The 16-year-old proved the most convincing recurve under-18 qualifier over 72 arrows in difficult weather conditions – cold and rain – with top seeds in the three events: individual, mixed team and men’s team.
While his run alongside Maia Tincu ended in quarterfinals against Italy, Addis led the French team to the world title against Korea’s powerhouse, before adding a second world medal with individual bronze in the finals arena on Sunday.
Outstanding performances that bode well for his first senior world championships in Berlin in less than a month’s time, for which the young Frenchman has been named alongside under-21 Nicolas Bernardi and veteran Jean-Charles Valladont, 34.
1. Romans Sergejevs, Latvia
Born in October 2006, he started archery when he was six and made its international debut in 2019 – at only 13.
He first upset the top seed Baptiste Addis in a tie-break in his semifinal, before shooting the best match of the tournament against Korea’s Choi Chuljun to climb on top of the podium and make history for his country with a first-ever world championship title.