Top 5: Best photos from the Olympic qualifier and World Cup stage in Paris

Medals at the third stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Paris.

Sport is best when there’s emotion. Archery is no different.

There are few events that inspire more emotion than the final qualifier for the Olympic Games – and it was great, this time, to see nearly all of the deciding matches shot in the arena, where it was much easier to capture the tears and tribulation of archers who booked, or failed to book, their tickets to Tokyo 2020.

The field in Charlety Stadium was fairly unassuming.

It wasn’t the most constructed, it didn’t have the most beautiful backdrop and there was no iconic landmark to frame in shot. But that was alright. Because the focus was squarely on the archers on the shooting line.

Hope you like this selection and don’t forget to check out the full albums in the event sections for the final Olympic qualifier and Paris stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup on the World Archery website.

Married couple Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari celebrate mixed team gold in Paris.

1) Marriage

Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari got married during the pandemic. In their interview after winning mixed team gold in Paris – their first title as a pair in the competition – they spoke about how they were made for each other, as life partners and teammates in the arena.

Yeah, I can see it.

The French recurve men shoot the final qualifier for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

2) The blue bear…

…or ‘primal scream’.

Impossible not to include this photo. The passion that poured out of Pierre Plihon as the French recurve men won their team quota for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games was pure. 

You could probably hear it at the Eiffel Tower. I can when I look at this photo.

Belarus’ recurve women during the third stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Paris.

3) Teamwork makes the dream work

For many countries, the best chance at an international medal is in the team event. If there’s no spirit, no synergy, it’s tough to impossible to get it done. You don’t have to be friends but you do have to be willing to work together towards one goal.

Kris Schaff in the arena at the third stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Paris.

4) Mask

Restrictions like masks and social distancing have enabled us to restart international competition. We all want the risk of the pandemic to be over so we can get back to normal. From a photography point of view, the masks make it exceptionally difficult to capture emotion – with facial expressions obscured.

Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we can all rip them off – just like Kris Schaff did before stepping to the line to shoot in the final.

Ana Vazquez during finals at the third stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Paris.

5) The gift

If you’ve ever shot competitively, you’ll know this feeling.

Missing the final arrow and giving away the win.

She’ll learn from it.