The Nesp starts well at preseason warm-up, but hopes for better finish

Arrows in the target at the Spring Arrows.

Mauro Nespoli (687) and Katharina Bauer (674) topped qualifying today at the traditional preseason warm-up tournament for European recurve archers in Antalya, Türkiye.

The Spring Arrows always attracts the big teams.

But with less than four months until the Olympics – and this same field set to host the final qualifier for Paris 2024 in early June – every arrow matters, perhaps more than usual.

“It’s the first competition of the year. It’s important to start well if you want to finish better,” said Nespoli, who was runner-up in the recurve men’s competition at the last Olympic Games, held in Tokyo in 2021.

“We’ve got just one month before the European Championships and just one [Olympic] quota. We came to Türkiye with the best team from Italy to deliver the best result at this competition.”

The team champion at the Europeans will qualify three athletes to the Games.

Olympic medallists were clustered at the top of the qualifying board in Antalya.

Mete talks at the target in Antalya in 2024.

Tokyo silver medallist Nespoli’s 687-point 72-arrow 70-metre round led three archers tied on 681. Two of those were Rio 2016 runner-up Jean-Charles Valladont and the man who beat Mauro in the Tokyo final, reigning Olympic Champion Mete Gazoz.

This is Mete’s home field.

Bauer’s top seed in the recurve women’s event wasn’t just important at this event but for her ambitions towards the Games. Germany is the reigning team world champion and already has a full quota.

“Today was the last part of our Olympic trials,” she said. “It was a good start for the team. I think we can be confident for the season.”

Nearly 200 archers are competing at the Spring Arrows, most of them recurve.

Among the handful of visiting compound archers is two-time Hyundai Archery World Cup stage winner in 2023 Jozef Bosansky (706), who shot two points behind Turkish archers Batuhan Akcaoglu and Emircan Haney (708) over qualifying. Both Akcoglu and Haney featured in finals last season.

Competition continues with eliminations on Friday in Antalya.

Top seeds: Spring Arrrows