A shot at a first para title in 17 years for Simonelli

Alberto Simonelli will look to win his second world championship para title, and first in 17 years, in Donaueschingen, after defeating defending champion John Stubbs in the compound men’s open semis to set up a meeting with Korea’s Lee Ouk Soo in the gold medal match.

Ninety-eight worlds winner Simonelli won 148-145 and will face the 19th seed, who defeated Australia’s Jonathon Milne 148-140 in the other semifinal match.

Despite defeat, Milne surprised many with his consistent shooting, and a victory over Paralympic champion Jere Forsberg of Finland, in particular, was something of an upset. 

“I didn’t expect to come here and do so well,” said Milne. “All I did was do what my coach told me in Australia and it seemed to work. I was very happy with my performance today.”

Milne and the Australian team self-funded their trip to the event in Germany, committed to finding success in order to raise awareness of the discipline.

“The whole team has paid for themselves to be here and it does make it worthwhile now I have done even better than I expected. I hope it raises the profile of para archery in Australia and we get some funding because of it.”

Milne also defeated Eric Pereira of France in the quarterfinals, but faces Bangkok 2013 World Archery Champion Stubbs of Great Britain in their bronze medal match. Stubbs narrowly defeated both Bulent Korkmaz of Turkey and Hadi Nori of Iran before losing to top seed Simonelli.

Admitting he admires his British opponent’s pedigree, Milne said: “Stubbs is very consistent and shoots very high scores. I’m just going to come out and try to shoot my very best.”

“If that’s enough on the day I’ll be happy. If it isn’t I will still be happy with how I’ve performed.”