Pavlik holds steady to top Beijing field

Slovakian archer Marcel Pavlik, the fifth place finisher at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, stayed strong in a tumultuous ranking list to top compound men’s open qualification at the 2017 World Archery Para Championships in Beijing, China.

“I’ve been here before, where I’ve finished first in qualifications. It’s all good, but it’s what happens next that really matters,” said Pavlik.

“I actually had my bets on Alberto Simonelli to win. He is my archery idol. I love competing against him.”

The 41-year-old Slovakian archer lay in third at the end of the first half and then, while Jonathon Milne and Ben Thompson dropped off in the second, shot an identical back 36 arrows (350/350) for 700 points total and pole position.

Four years since making his international debut, Pavlik is waiting on his first major medal. He finished ninth at the last World Archery Para Championships.

Simonelli, Paralympic Champion Andre Shelby and Milne all finished the ranking round on 695 points.

“The start was very terrible for me,” said second-ranked man and defending world champion Simonelli. “So I’m pleased to be in a good spot and finish second behind my friend Marcel.”

The 2017 World Archery Para Championships run 12-17 September in Beijing, China.