Ten archers to watch in Marrakesh: Indoor World Cup stage one

Follow live results from the first 2014/15 Indoor Archery World Cup stage in Marrakesh throughout this weekend. Delayed live video of finals matches will be available on Archery TV next week.

Last year’s Marrakesh stage was the first World Cup competition to ever be held in the African continent. The event is back on the calendar for the 2014/15 season.

It’s once again the first opportunity for athletes – 167 in total, hailing from Africa, across Europe and a core cohort from the Americas – to collect Indoor World Cup ranking points toward qualification for the circuit Final in Las Vegas.

Here’s who to keep your eyes on in Marrakesh…

1) Mike SCHLOESSER (NED), compound man: Last year, Mike became the first archer from Europe to win The Vegas Shoot. He lost the third stage of last year’s Indoor World Cup to teammate Peter ELZINGA – who is also shooting this event – but outlasted him in the Vegas shoot-out.

The only compound resident at the Netherlands Olympic training centre in Papendaal, Mikey’s a young, excellent indoor archer.

2) Crystal GAUVIN (USA), compound woman: One of the pair of women that shot an awesome Marrakesh final in 2013. Shot a blinding 10 to secure the gold – and has been pretty successful this year, her first as a full-time pro, outdoors.

3) Berengere SCHUH (FRA), recurve woman: Almost undeniably the best European indoor recurve woman nearly a decade ago and winner at the worlds even further back, SCHUH had surgery last year – and has not yet found her old form.

4) Khadija ABBOUDA (MAR), recurve woman: Made the last eight at her first Indoor World Cup stage, last year. Managed four set points in her quarterfinal loss there, too. Best chance for a Moroccan medal?

5) Matteo FISSORE (ITA), recurve man: Finalist in Marrakesh a year ago. FISSORE lost gold to Dutchman Rick VAN DER VEN, who’s not shooting the stage this season.

6) Jean-Charles VALLADONT (FRA), recurve man: Lost just twice over the whole Indoor World Cup season last year. Both matches he lost were to the number five archer on this list, FISSORE: in Marrakesh and the Vegas final.

7) Andrea GALES (GBR), compound woman: Probably the weakest division in Marrakesh – there aren’t too many athletes, let alone names – mean this one’s pure maths. GALES was circuit champion two years ago.

Athlete plus opportunity equals…?

8) Braden GELLENTHIEN (USA), compound man: The experienced GELLENTHIEN, former Indoor World Cup Champion and multiple finalists of both the indoor and outdoor circuits, needed a shoot-off to beat another States athlete, Bridger DEATON, in the gold medal match in Marrakesh last year.

DEATON won the Lausanne 2014 outdoor World Cup Final two months ago – but he’s not heading to Morocco.

9) Iceland: New in the archery game, Iceland sent a small self-funded squad to the indoor worlds in Nimes at the start of 2014. The group didn’t make waves in the competition – but they were great guys.

Thirteen Icelandic archers are heading to Marrakesh. Good to see the contingent growing!

10) Naomi FOLKARD (GBR), recurve woman: A multiple European silver medallist, Naomi won Marrakesh last year. She was silver medallist at the Indoor World Cup Final in 2012.

The first stage of the Indoor Archery World Cup, an open-entry international archery circuit, takes place this weekend in Marrakesh, Morocco.