Russia bags six para podiums in Donaueschingen team finals

Russia continued their strong stance as one of the dominant nations of para archery with six medals, including two gold medals in the compound women’s and recurve men’s open team competitions, at the World Archery Para Championships in Donaueschingen, Germany.

The compound team of Stepanida Artakhinova, Marina Lyzhnikova and Iuliia Alekseeva defeated home nation Germany in a dramatic shoot-off to claim gold, before the men’s recurve team defeated Korea in the final match of the day.

Bato Tsydendorzhiev, Sergey Khutakov and Anton Zaypaev, who set a new 92-point world record earlier in the week, comfortably overcame Korea, 6-2.

Russia also won a bronze medal and three silver medals, two of which belonged to Margarita Sidorenko.

Sidorenko came second in the mixed team event, paired with Bato Tsydendorzhiev, and in the recurve women’s open team competition, with Svetlana Barantseva and Irina Rossiyskaya.

Both lost finals were against China.

The mixed team went top seeds Wu Chunyan and Shi Xu Cheng’s way, 6-2, then Chunyan, Lin Dandan and Gao Fangxia emerged on top after the final set of a full four-set match, in which the Russian team needed a nine to win with its last arrow.

“I shot quite well but I am always looking to improve and shoot higher scores in the future,” said Sidorenko. “It was a long day and I am feeling pretty tired, but I will strive to achieve the gold medal next time.”

“Individually, or as a team, we can always improve and we will go away and do that after this competition.”

Team events test not only an archer’s mental strength but the group’s strength, something Sidorenko says is vital to any team’s success: “You have to be mentally strong and try to overcome any bad shot you, or your teammate, may shoot.”

“We work well together and encourage each other. We are successful because we have that togetherness.”