France’s Girard completes Cinderella journey in Chateau de Vincennes

Nicolas Girard wins in Paris.

Nicolas Girard and Ella Gibson, who already won a stage two months ago in Antalya, took the compound titles at the third stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Paris, France.

“I wanted to prove that I belong here,” said Girard. “And that I could compete.”

“Here I am.”

The 22-year-old finished fourth in trials for the French team in 2022. He didn’t compete in either of the first two stages of the international circuit or the European Championships in Munich.

But he was inserted into the squad for the host’s home leg – and made the most of his opportunity.

Having already won a team gold medal with teammates Quentin Baraer and Jean Philippe Boulch in the morning, Girard dominated the compound men’s final four. He shot a perfect 150 to beat circuit veteran Braden Gellenthien in the semis and then took a clean victory, 148-145, over former world youth champion Anders Faugstad in the final.

Girard was perfect again through nine arrows and built an early three-point lead. The result seemed inevitable.

“I’m really happy to have achieved my goal and I’m really looking forward to shooting more on the World Cup,” said Girard.

He’ll now shoot at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Mexico in October as a stage winner.

Ella Gibson will also shoot in the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final – and not because she won this weekend in Paris, which she did, but because she won the season opener two months ago in Antalya.

The Brit is quickly becoming the compound woman to beat.

“I don’t think there’s one best person. It just depends if you’re the best that day,” said Gibson.

She was best in the arena at Chateau de Vincennes.

Back-to-back 148s – out of a possible score of 150 for the 15-arrow 50-metre match – saw Ella top the podium for a second time in her second appearance on the international tour in 2022.

Despite the score, her final against India’s Jyothi Surekha Vennam was a nail-biter.

Leading by one point heading into the fifth and last end, Gibson dropped a nine while Vennam was perfect. In the ensuing tiebreak, the British archer shot first – and only missed dead centre by a centimetre or so. There wasn’t room for her Indian opponent, who matched her 10 but was clearly further from the middle.

“Amazing, relieved, elated. That was so hard and so amazing but I really enjoyed it,” said Ella.

Braden Gellenthien beat Jean Pizarro and Sophie Dodemont defeated Mariya Shkolna to the bronze medals. It’s Pizarro’s second fourth-place finish of the season after Antalya.

Competition in Paris concludes tomorrow with recurve finals.

Final ranking: Compound men

  1. Nicolas Girard, France
  2. Anders Faugstad, Norway
  3. Braden Gellenthien, USA

Final ranking: Compound women

  1. Ella Gibson, Great Britain
  2. Jyothi Surekha Vennam, India
  3. Sophie Dodemont, France