Kroppen shoots competition-best 675 for pole position in Lausanne

Michelle Kroppen pulls arrows during qualification at the second stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2021.

Germany’s Michelle Kroppen astonished with a dominant performance during recurve women’s qualification at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne. The 25-year-old registered a score of 675, improving her competition best by five and outclassing the field for much of the 72-arrow, 70-metre round.

Kroppen's score could have been even better, but the last two ends went awry. She shot five eights in 12 arrows – compared to just one in the previous 60.

“I’m very happy. It's the first time I’m on top at the World Cup. I shot awesome, and I got my best score,” she said. “But there is a lot more to improve, and I will try to get better, competition by competition.”

Kroppen shot admirably at the season opener in Guatemala City as well, qualifying sixth and reaching the quarterfinals. Her top-seeded qualification on Tuesday has only confirmed that impressive shape.

In between arrows during the final ends, Michelle looked back at her coach, Marc Dellenbach, shaking her head. There is room for improvement, but the score was impressive nonetheless.

“It's crazy to hear your name all the time and to prove yourself," Kroppen said. "But I think I wasn’t that nervous, maybe in the last two ends. I can learn from it and next time, do better."

Kroppen had a new weapon to combat the nerves. She sat under the tent with her tablet colouring virtual stained glass during breaks between shooting.

“It’s the first time I did this. Usually, I read a book. But it requires too much focus to read and understand everything,” she said. “I tried something new. In the morning, I downloaded the app and tried to draw and keep calm. I guess it helps me a lot.”

Three years ago, Kroppen was runner-up at the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Salt Lake City. After a career-best qualifying, she has high hopes for matching – or bettering – that result here in Lausanne.

“Of course, I want to go for gold. But step by step means getting better and better. And maybe then I can get a gold medal. I will fight for every arrow,” she said.

The German women looked dominant during Tuesday’s qualifying. Lisa Unruh earned the second seed, eventually finishing not far behind her teammate with 673 points. The Olympic silver medallist was seventh at halfway. But while her competitors floundered a little, she remained consistent and moved up the leaderboard.

Katharina Bauer completed the team score of 2010, which is reportedly a European record.

Lisa Barbelin of France seeded third with 671 points.

She was followed by a trio of Mexican athletes. The fourth, fifth and sixth seeds went to Alejandra Valencia, Valentina Vazquez and Ana Vazquez, respectively. Elena Osipova and Audrey Adiceom rounded out the top eight.

Competition continues for the top-ranked recurve women in Lausanne on Thursday morning, with early phases running on Wednesday.

Top 8 seeds: Recurve women

  1. Michelle Kroppen, Germany – 675
  2. Lisa Unruh, Germany – 673
  3. Lisa Barbelin, France – 671
  4. Alejandra Valencia, Mexico – 670
  5. Valentina Vazquez, Mexico – 667
  6. Ana Vazquez, Mexico – 667
  7. Elena Osipova, Russia – 667
  8. Audrey Adiceom, France – 666