Top 3: Archers at the 2021 European Championships in Antalya

This list is spoilt for choice, with not just one but two events to choose from: the continental qualifier for the upcoming Olympics, and the European Championships themselves.

Fortunately, the number one on this list performed well in both.

This is an out-loud thought, but it might be time to expand our list to include teams. The Dutch recurve men, for instance, were excellent in their comeback victory to take gold and the European title.

For now, though, we’ll stick to the individual archers who stood out.

3) Pablo Acha

Who are they? Recurve man from Spain.

Where did they finish? European Champion.

Why are they on this list? The rock-solid anchor of Spain’s surging recurve men’s team is also the strongest individual member of the squad at the moment. In the best final of the tournament, Acha traded sets with Russia’s Galsan Bazarzhapov before delivering a decisive final 10 to take the title.

2) Tanja Gellenthien

Who are they? Compound woman from Denmark.

Where did they finish? European Champion.

Why are they on this list? What an early-season run from Tanja. Silver, gold and gold over two stages of the Hyundai Archery World Cup and the European Championships. And this is undoubtedly her best victory yet. Gellenthien shot 147 out of a possible 150 points in the final. The eight-point victory was largely irrelevant, as the new world number one is definitely the best compound woman in the world right now.

1) Lisa Barbelin

Who are they? Recurve woman from France.

Where did they finish? European Champion and qualifier for Tokyo 2020.

Why are they on this list? Barbelin, individually, had two targets in Antalya – the continental title and a quota for the Olympics – and she bagged both. It wasn’t the most dominant performance in the history of international archery, but you literally couldn’t have asked for more from the 21-year-old left-hander. The results earned her the number one spot in the world rankings, too.

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