First event, first final four: Gomboeva’s stunning debut

Svetlana Gomboeva shoots during eliminations at the second stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2021.

Svetlana Gomboeva helped her team to bronze and advanced to the recurve women’s final four in her maiden Hyundai Archery World Cup event in Lausanne, Switzerland. It’s a phenomenal first performance in senior competition for the 22-year-old.

“I started to shoot a long time ago. It’s been more than 10 years already. I took it as a hobby but then it became my work in 2016,” explained the rising star of the Russian team.

As a kid, Svetlana tried various activities. Sometimes running, sometimes jumping, but she also tried shooting a bow. And soon, she discovered it was her passion.

“I was very versatile and active. I was singing, dancing, running, but archery attracted me a lot. At first, I shot a different bowstyle but then I moved to recurve and stayed in that category,” she said.

These last few days in a rainy Lausanne reassure her that she took the right decision.

“I always believed in myself, but I am very happy that I made both the semifinals individually and took third place with my team,” she said after the bronze medal match on Friday.

Gomboeva debuted on the Hyundai Archery World Cup at this season’s second stage, but she isn’t new to the Russian coaches.

Svetlana had a successful youth career. She was runner-up at the last World Archery Indoor Championships in Yankton and won gold at a European Youth Cup, both in 2018. The results are a platform from which she hopes to launch a long-term career.

“In 2018, I made it to the senior team and started shooting at, let’s say, more important events,” she said.

Three years later, she’s looking to make 2021 her breakthrough season.

Gomboeva comes from a region with deep archery traditions. In fact, her hometown is far closer to China and Mongolia than to Moscow, where the headquarters of the Russian Archery Federation are located.

“I was born in Irkutsk but moved to Ulan-Ude. It’s next to Baikal lake, in the Siberia region,” she said.

The 22-year-old is a quick thinker. She’s already graduated from her studies in economy but now works as a professional archer. 

Her home office is still full of the pens, paper and typical office supplies she once used for revision. Now they have a different purpose. When a training session or competition is over, Svetlana sits with a pen and notebook to let her mind clear.

She has a creative soul.

“I really like artistic things. I have loads of markers or pens. I love lettering and scrapbooking. I also draw,” she said.

If Svetlana can deliver a picture-perfect ending to her storybook debut in Lausanne, perhaps she’ll be decorating a new scrapbook with the letting “Lausanne”. Podium or not, though, this is already a career-defining result.

Gomboeva will shoot on Sunday afternoon in the recurve women’s final four. Her semifinal match is against Germany’s Lisa Unruh.