Where my career changed – Jaatma reflects after third win in Nimes

The compound women’s final in Nimes in 2023.

“When I was younger, I was scared to shoot with top archers,” says Estonia’s Lisell Jaatma.

“Now I know I can win the big competitions.”

Four years ago, the then-19-year-old wasn’t considered a contender at senior internationals, although she had a nice collection of medals from youth events.

“I’ve become more confident and calm. I’m stronger, wiser and have more experience,” she adds.

Her fourth attempt at Nimes – in 2020 – brought a breakthrough.

She shot a career-best 588 in qualifying and knocked out big names like Sarah Prieels, Alexis Ruiz and Tanja Gellenthien on route to her first major title.

“Everything changed after that,” says Lisell.

“I got my first bigger sponsorship deals and I was more determined than ever.”

In a pandemic-shrunk event, one year later, Jaatma won Nimes for a second consecutive time and last weekend she added a third victory in four years at the tournament.

“It felt good to be back. It was familiar,” she says.

Last season brought results on the Hyundai Archery World Cup, too. Jaatma made two final fours, medalling in the season opener, and qualified for her first season finale.

But Nimes – and her continued success in the south of France – is the foundation of Lisell’s fame.

“It’s one of the biggest competitions and you know there are so many good archers there,” she says.

“For me, it’s the competition where my archery career changed.”