Alvarino, Coskun upset German hosts to claim European titles

Alvarino and Coskun win European Championships.

It was a day which promised much for the host nation of these European Championships with four recurve gold medals to play for. But on the site of the world-famous Oktoberfest and in front of a packed, vocal and sun-drenched crowd, it was Spain’s Miguel Alvarino Garcia and Turkey’s Gulnaz Coskun who saw off the host nation’s Florian Unruh and Michelle Kroppen to take continental titles in Munich.

“Under a lot of pressure like this European Championship final, I give 100% and I feel so happy. I’m shooting the best in my career,” said 28-year-old Alvarino, who has now podiumed at three of three major internationals this season after the first two stages of the Hyundai Archery World Cup. “I’m impressed by the German following at the finals and it’s very cool to shoot in these conditions. [They saw] the best Miguel today, but tomorrow, I hope I will be better.”

Coskun, meanwhile, called the result a career highlight.

“I am so, so happy I was hoping for this moment for a long time, I am really happy. It’s my dream come true,” she said, shortly after finishing the final with a near-perfect 29-point fourth set to take the match, 6-2.

That final against Kroppen was Coksun’s 100th career international match and brought her first major title – as well as Turkey’s second European Champion in three years in the recurve women’s event, following Yasemin Anagoz’s victory in 2018, when Coskun finished third.

Unruh and Kroppen suffered yet more disappointment in the recurve mixed team final, where they were beaten by a class performance from a Netherlands pairing of Gaby Schloesser and Rick van der Ven. Needing two 10s from their last two arrows, the Dutch duo had to wait out a time delay after the clock failed, before proceeding to drill the middle – despite Rick having just a second left to shoot the final arrow.

But German fans did have something to celebrate, with Kroppen, Katharina Bauer and Charline Schwarz beating Coskun’s Turkey to gold in the recurve women’s final.

It was a final to get the home crowd’s adrenaline pumping early. 

Coming into this event after back-to-back silver medals on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit, having only lost to Great Britain in Antalya and Korea in Gwangju, the German recurve women were undoubtedly favourites in Munich. The team qualified top, dropped just a single set point in eliminations and then won the first two sets of the final. Everything was going according to plan.

But then, for some reason, the German trio started shooting eights in the third end, while Turkey tightened.

A seven from the Turkish group in the fourth had Kroppen with an opportunity to win it with her last arrow – if she shot a 10. She didn’t, and the match went to a tiebreak. With the home crowd planted firmly in their corner, the German team took it, 26-23.

“It’s six consecutive medals for the German women’s team,” said Kroppen, correcting an interview question that solely focused on this year’s results. “We have a secret but we can’t tell you that now.”

Kroppen’s individual silver was just the fourth-ever recurve women’s medal for the country in the history of these championships, won just moments after her teammate Bauer secured the third by taking down Austria’s Elisabeth Straka in straight sets in the bronze medal match. (Previously Barbara Mensing had silver in 1994 and Lisa Unruh had bronze in 2016.)

Germany will host a number of major events in the coming seasons, including the Hyundai World Archey Championships in 2023 and the European Championships, again, in 2024.