Day one leaders after unmarked qualifying at world field in Yankton

A bunny target on the unmarked qualification course in Yankton.

Rain and the terrain made for a tough first day of qualification at the 2022 World Archery Field Championships as nearly 200 competitors took to the courses for 24 unmarked targets on Tuesday in Yankton, USA.

Unmarked is the unknown distance portion of the tournament. The distances of targets will all be marked for the rest of the event.

Among the top scorers after the first day were world number one Brady Ellison, the two barebow winners of the recent world 3D championships David Jackson and Cinzia Noziglia, and reigning World Archery Field Champion Paige Pearce, shooting on home soil (and in a city in which she recently bought a house).

“It was a great course. The rain made it a little more challenging depending on what targets you were shooting when it was raining hard. But I had a good time,” she said afterwards.

Pearce scored 408 out of a possible 432 points for the 72 arrows – six points per arrow being the maximum – to come in one point ahead of the archer she beat in the final of the last edition of these championships, which were held in Italy four years ago. (The 2020 edition was cancelled due to the pandemic.)

Toja Ellison, on 407, was the only other compound woman to break 400.

“A lot of up- and downhills which is what you want,” continued Pearce. “And I’m glad the unknown is done!”

Thirteen compound men shot 400-plus, compared to 25 at the last championships, led by Fabio Ibba and two-time world field champion Dave Cousins, who both had 414 points.

World number one Mike Schloesser, who has seeded first at seven successive stages of the Hyundai Archery World Cup dating back to the start of 2021, had the seventh-best score on the unmarked course – 403.

“This is the hardest field course I’ve shot since shooting field, with the angles and stuff on it, this is the hardest course I’ve shot since 2014,” declared Brady Ellison after accruing 380 points, good enough to lead the 26 recurve men on the course by 10.

His teammate Matt Nofel was the man in second, with British Olympian Patrick Huston third on 367.

Florian Unruh, who beat Ellison in the final of the field event at the World Games earlier this summer, was well off the pace of the top pack, averaging more than a point less a target and ending the day with 347 to sit 12th.

Reigning recurve women’s World Games Champion Chiara Rebagliati led her field by five with 338.

“It was a difficult course. The rain didn’t stop ever. It was difficult to pass from target to target. I fell a lot of times but tomorrow I hope to do better than today,” she said. “It was very hard.”

The biggest lead to be built over the first 24 targets of these championships was that of Cinzia Noziglia, the Italian barebower who is bidding to become the first archer to win the World Games, the world 3D championships and the World Archery Field Championships in the same year.

She scored 351 points, 30 up on her nearest competitor Stine Asell of Sweden.

Barring an unprecedented meltdown from the talented 37-year-old, Noziglia looks set to pass through to the  final four after tomorrow’s marked qualifying day. The top two seeds in each category at the end of scoring on Wednesday automatically qualify for the semifinals at these championships.

The next 20 archers enter shoot-up elimination pools with a chance to join them in Sunday’s finals arena.

Qualification (day one): Yankton 2022