France names recurve teams for Berlin and Limerick, para archers for Pilsen
France unveiled its athletes for the recurve events at the Hyundai World Archery Championships and World Archery Youth Championships, as well as those who will take part in the World Archery Para Championships, last week.
The French delegations for all world championships this summer are now complete, following the announcement of the compound squads few weeks ago.
The team at World Archery Championships in Berlin from 31 July to 6 August will comprise the archers who competed at the World Cup stages this season. These same six athletes are currently competing at the European Games in Krakow, Poland, where Jean-Charles Valladont carried his nation’s flag at the opening ceremony on 22 June.
“It’s a great pleasure to be selected for these last world championships before Paris 2024,” he said from Krakow. “It’s a big rehearsal on a real scale, even bigger than the one we’ll see at the Olympics.”
A silver medallist from the first World Cup stage in Antalya in April, Valladont will provide experience to young teammates, and first-timer, Baptiste Addis and Nicolas Bernardi, aged 16 and 20 respectively.
“I’m very happy and honoured by the trust placed in me by the federation,” Bernardi said. “This is going to be my first senior world championship, so I’m mixed between excitement and stress. I hope not to get carried away and to get the most out of this event.”
Valladont has been a permanent fixture in the French recurve men’s team and never missed an edition of the World Archery Championships since Ulsan 2009. The 34-year-old will run for his eighth outdoor world championships, a fourteenth with indoor and field included.
“It’s good preparation, as it will be held in Europe with the same kind of weather and timing conditions,” Valladont said. “It’s a great discovery for this new team that could potentially be at the Games next year in Paris.”
“We’re going to try and grasp the nettle as best we can so that we can gain more and more experience and confidence to sharpen our arrows until these home Games.”
Barbelin and Adiceom will both compete at a third World Archery Championships, while 19-year-old Lopez will make her debut in Berlin.
Members of the same club, the trio knows each other well. After winning recurve women’s team bronze at the first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya this season, they’ve just gone one better at the European Games with silver this Saturday.
“I’m very happy and proud to be part of the French team for this world championship,” Adiceom said. “We’ve still got a month’s work to do after the European Games to prepare ourselves in the best possible way.”
“I think we can achieve great things with this team, both for the girls and the boys.”
Addis (U18), Bernardi and Lopez (U21) are also among the 12 athletes selected for the youth world championships from 3 to 9 July in Ireland.
“I’m going there with the aim of performing well but also of preparing myself for the senior world,” Bernardi said. “I hope to enjoy myself 100% at this last youth competition and to have a good time with all my French colleagues and those from other countries.”
The junior squad in Limerick will also include Iban Bariteaud, the under 18 world champion two years ago who now competes in the upper category.
Following trials held last weekend in Richelieu during the national para archery championships, seven archers were also named for the upcoming para world championships to be held from 17 to 23 July in Pilsen, Czech Republic.
Among them are Guillaume Toucoullet, the world number one in the recurve men open division, and W1 archer Damien Letulle. A Paralympian from Tokyo 2020, Toucoullet will defend his world silver medal from Dubai last year.
Letulle attended two World Championships back in 1995 and 1997 and the Atlanta 1996 Olympic Games, before an accident in November 1997 left him quadriplegic. The 50-year-old will compete in his first para worlds in 2023 with his sights already set on a possible first Paralympic cap in a year’s time at his home Games.