Sawicki secures final Rio recurve men’s open place at Donaueschingen

Piotr Sawicki of Poland secured the last remaining recurve men’s open quota place at the Donaueschingen worlds for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, defeating Japanese archer Takahiro Hasegawa 6-0 during the Paralympic secondary tournament.

The secondary tournament assigned all places that were not won through the main competition at the 2015 World Archery Para Championships, according to official allocation rules. There was only one recurve men’s open place available in the secondary tournament and 14 athletes eligible to compete for it.

Sawicki was knocked out of the main event by 48th-ranked Francisco Cordeiro in the third round. Piotr qualified as seed number 16 and it was a match that would have earned Poland a Rio quota place if he had won.

Undeterred, Sawicki won his first two secondary tournament matches 6-0, 6-4, then defeated Barry Guider of Ireland before his final against Hasegawa, dropping just two sets combined in both matches.

“I was unsure of the qualification process going into the event but I always aim to do the same in any event,” explained Sawicki, saying he didn’t know what position would ensure a spot for Poland.

“I just want to shoot as well as possible and try to beat anyone that comes up against me. If that wins my country a quota place it is a bonus,“ he said.

Sawicki did admit to not knowing much about the archers he was shooting against in the secondary tournament, but didn’t feel any pressure in the critical knockout tournament.

“There was no pressure as I shot like normal,” he said. “I don’t like to overthink these situations. I always focus on only my performance. If I shoot well then it is all I can do and hopefully it is enough.”

The secondary Paralympic qualification was the final chance to earn quota places in the recurve men’s open category at the Donaueschingen worlds, and the 41 year old was happy that his home nation secured Rio representation.

“I am glad to win this tournament and to gain a place for Poland in Brazil, but I will always aim to win no matter what the reward,” he concluded.