Adiceom delighted with first final four appearance

Audrey Adiceom celebrates after making the final four at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne.

Jumping, laughing, smiling – that was the pure joy of Audrey Adiceom after reaching her first Hyundai Archery World Cup semifinal in Lausanne. Of all the archers who made the recurve women’s final four on Thursday, no one celebrated as emotionally as the 24-year-old from France.

“I have so many feelings in my stomach,” she said. “It’s like fireworks with so many colours!”

Adiceom could barely find words to describe her happiness.

“I was so stressed, but I also tried to be so calm,” she said. “There are so many different feelings. It’s so amazing to get to the semifinals.”

Adiceom upset top seed Michelle Kroppen in the quarterfinals, defeating an archer who had set a new career-best in the qualification round. It was a tight match with a thrilling finish.

“I was nervous shooting against Michelle. She took first place in qualification, and she shoots so well now. And her coach is Marc Dellenbach, my previous coach,” Adiceom said. “I was like: this situation is strange, but I have to focus on my shooting.”

Adiceom fought her nerves to do just that. She started strong to take a 4-0 lead, but Kroppen won the third set to tighten the gap. They both scored 28 in the fourth, and in the fifth as well, for Adiceom to win, 6-4.

She remained noticeably excited long after her last arrow landed. But she managed to control buzzing emotions to remain calm when it came to the most important shots.

Audrey Adiceom shoots during the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne.

“I breathed a lot. It was like really calm breathing,” said Audrey. “I spoke to myself: be calm, be tranquil, be cool, it will be great.”

Adiceom has been authoring a blog for World Archery over the past year, giving an incredible insight into the mentality of an elite athlete. That insight continued after her result oday.

“I have two words that I always remember: pleasure and calm, pleasure and calm,” she explained. “That I don't forget I’m here, and I'm happy doing archery. All is about love to archery. I try to remember these words. I had a great feeling. My arrow wasn’t yet in the target, but I knew it was great.”

Such a result comes as a huge confidence boost for Audrey after experiencing a significant setback earlier this year. She won’t compete next month in the final Olympic qualification tournament in Paris. And she won’t be in Tokyo.

“I’m not on the Olympic team because I lost trials in February. It was a sad moment for me, but now I’m so happy to be back at an international event,” she said.

You get the impression that Audrey is freed of the pressures that come with Olympic expectation. Perhaps that’s why she’ll shoot for her first individual medal on the Hyundai Archery World Cup this weekend. Her campaign to do so will start with a semifinal against former world champion Ksenia Perova, an imposing opponent.

Having started this tournament with her own competition best in qualifying – a 666 – will she end it with a podium? We’ll find out on Sunday afternoon.