Best in Berlin? Swami impressive at 2023 World Archery Championships

Make no mistake, we knew that this was India’s year – after all, even before we’d got to Berlin for the world championships, the country’s compounders had collected three stage wins on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit.

But few predicted it would be 17-year-old Aditi Swami who stood out.

Having already won the under-18 world title in Limerick at the end of July, the Satara native was part of India’s groundbreaking compound women’s team victory on Friday morning at the Hyundai World Archery Championships, before she also won her country’s first-ever individual gold at the event on Saturday.

Entirely unfazed by the pressure – and gravity – of the occasion, which has so often torpedoed Indian hopes in the past, she was clearly the most impressive archer in Berlin.

But what about the rest? These three excelled in the shadow of the Olympiastadion…

3. Lukasz Przybylski, Poland

Two medals in two days for the surprise Polish compound squad, led by the casual Pryzbylski.

He went bananas after shooting the winning arrow for the team in their final – his ninth 10 of the clash – before coldly stating in the post-match interview that it was just “the next arrow to shoot”.

“I shot eight arrows here and they were in,” he continued. “The next arrow, I don’t care about it. But if it’s okay I’m very happy.”

The Poles beat Denmark in a shoot-off that saw both teams deliver three perfect arrows – but the former measured closer to the centre.

Lukasz followed up the team’s success with individual silver, losing only the final to surging Indian archer Pravin Deotale, who won with a perfect 150-point match. Pryzbylski had dropped a single arrow into the nine in the fourth end – for a 149, and individual world silver.

2. Marcus D’Almeida, Brazil

Two podiums in two editions of the world archery championships for Brazil’s best-ever archer. Marcus finished second in 2021 and third this time around. That level of competitive consistency is what makes the current world number one so dangerous in matchplay.

Sure, he hasn’t quite yet converted it into those magical moments (see Mete Gazoz winning the Olympics and now these worlds in Berlin)…

…but if the man who stares down the rain – I want to feel it, he says – keeps trucking, the biggest of wins are bound to come.

1. Marie Horackova, Czech Republic

The world championships are renowned for throwing up a shock result.

Marie Horackova was that this time around.

Ranked just 42nd in the world arriving in Germany, the 25-year-old found a level she’d never previously put on display when she entered the finals arena. It took her just nine sets (27 arrows) through three matches to win the world title – as she averaged 29 points a set.

Sure, you can talk about the Korean women’s historically bad tournament.

Regardless, Horackova deserved to win in Berlin.