Erik Jonsson equals Morgan Lundin’s World Games triple crown
Sweden’s Erik Jonsson won his third career World Games as Italy’s Cinzia Noziglia successfully defended her title from five years ago as barebow finals day brought the archery competitions in Birmingham to a close.
Jonsson took barebow men’s gold, defeating teammate Leo Pettersson 57-52 in the final, to add the 2022 title to the pair he won back-to-back in 2001 and 2005. Three wins at the multisport event equals the all-time archery record set by fellow Swede Morgan Lundin, who won in 1993, 1997 and 2005 when compound archers also shot competed in the field discipline.
“The morning I thought about it but not when I shot,” said Jonsson about matching the landmark. “I’ve known Morgan for many years. We’ve shot on the national team together and won the world field team together.”
But Jonsson very nearly did not make the final.
His semi against Germany’s Michael Meyer went to a shoot-off, tied at 47 points apiece. Both archers shot a four but Erik’s was measured closer by just four millimetres.
“That was close,” said Jonsson. “I shot pretty good shots, one was a little too fast and was found in the two on the short one, otherwise it was pretty good. It’s perfect. I’ve been struggling these couple of days. I woke up with a cold this morning, a small fever, but now I feel good.”
“It was fun to shoot against Leo too, so I hope to shoot against him some more.”
Pettersson is Sweden’s up-and-coming barebow superstar. An 18-year-old, who had the opportunity to shoot against his hero in the final of the World Games.
“I’m quite happy,” he said. “Erik, he’s just something else. His shoot-off and then his 17 on the [first] target… it’s inhumane. It’s not human. I can’t really be sad for silver.”
“I’m okay with losing to him. Erik is, in my opinion, the best archer ever, at least in barebow.”
The home nation’s Ryan Davis secured barebow men’s bronze after seeding 10th and through a marathon eliminations day on Thursday before eventually beating Meyer to the podium.
“It took a long day yesterday to get here [but] I’m happy,” he said. “I didn't think I was going to be able to pull it off. Everybody here’s the best in the world. I just shot my best and worked my way up the ladder.”
That ladder ended with the four he needed from his last shot to win, 52-51.
“I knew I needed to make a good shot. If I made a good shot, it was going to go where I needed it to go,” said Davis. “My wife and my youngest son are in the stands and it’s fantastic.”
Davis’ teammate Christina Lyons, appearing in her first international competition, fell to reigning champion Noziglia in the barebow women’s final, 48-44. The Italian archer had seen off Swede Lina Bjorklund in the semifinals, 51-50, in a match that was a repeat of the final at the 2017 World Games.
“I am very happy. It is amazing and I do not realise [it yet]. Probably I will tomorrow,” said Cinzia. “I felt pressure because I know Lina is a great competition and nothing is sure. Christina, too. She shoots very well in field. They are both great opponents. Anne Viljanen as well, who was second in qualification. The pressure was very high.”
Lyons held back the tears on the podium, finding herself in a position she could quite not believe.
“To come here and to shoot with Lina and Cinzia who are amazing competitors and who I have looked up to since I started archery… I found it truly humbling to be on the podium, to have that silver medal in the World Games,” she said. “It is like a dream coming true. It is overwhelming.”
Bjorklund overcame her semifinal loss to win bronze, downing Finland’s Viljanen, 53-32, thanks to some changes to her routine.
“I have a new technique,” she explained. “It is shooting more like recurve. I pretend that I have a clicker that I have to pass. I check everything and then I keep on working and try to get to the point when I can release.”
"I am satisfied with all these [past] three days since my only focus was technique.”
The archery competitions at the World Games concluded with the barebow finals.