British women, Italian men secure team titles at 2023 European Games

The British women during matchplay in Krakow.

Great Britain’s recurve women and the Italian recurve men won the team events at the 2023 European Games on the second official day of archery competition in Krakow’s Plaszowianka Archery Park.

The Brits had seeded third, Italy fourth – and both survived semifinal shoot-offs before delivering dominant finals.

Resilience was the name of the game, with Britain’s Bryony Pitman saying afterwards, “there were times when she didn’t shoot as well, but we always came back from it”.

Six-arrow sets of 51 and 50 points were mixed with more impressive totals, 57s, when needed. And in the final-four tiebreak against the Italian women, the British team delivered two 10s and a nine to knock out the favourites, and ultimately spring a run to the top step of the podium, capped with a 5-1 victory over France.

“Even if one of us had a bad shot, we bounced straight back,” said Jessica Sagoo. “That really helped. It was what we needed to do.”

This is the first multisport medal for current recurve women’s world number one Penny Healey, still only 18 years old, who recently won her first major outdoor event at the opening stage of this year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya.

“It’s already been a great week, especially for us three to start off with a medal,” she said.

Mauro Nespoli won two gold medals at the European Games four years ago – in the individual and mixed team events.

He’s already out of the pairs competition this time around, having lost an early elimination match to Moldova held after qualification yesterday. But the Italian recurve men’s team of Nespoli, Federico Musolesi and Alessandro Paoli was impressive.

A three-set first-round win over the British men saw the trio deliver sets of 58 and 59 points.

Italy then recovered from a 4-0 deficit against the top-seeded Dutch, force the tiebreak and finally deliver a perfect three 10s to advance to the final.

With the momentum, Spain stood no chance. Three 55s weren’t enough. Italy took it, 5-1.

“If we shoot like today, in all the matches, we can win against everybody,” said team leader Nespoli. “We were absolutely focused and we always worked to keep the match alive, keep the goal in mind. And the gold has arrived.”

Tomorrow’s competition in Krakow features medal matches in the mixed team events – both compound and recurve – with the latter awarding the first quota places for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.

That route is closed for Nespoli – but he’ll have another chance to book a spot, should he manage to defend his individual title at these multisport Games.

“The focus is to qualify,” he said. “We have to show what we can do… to take the quota.”

Podiums: 2023 European Games

Full results on the Krakow 2023 European Games page.

Recurve men

  1. Italy (Mauro NespoliFederico Musolesi and Alessandro Paoli)
  2. Spain (Pablo Acha, Miguel Alvarino and Andres Temino)
  3. Switzerland (Keziah Chabin, Florian Faber and Thomas Rufer)

Recurve women

  1. Great Britain (Bryony PitmanJessica Sagoo and Penny Healey)
  2. France (Audrey Adiceom, Lisa Barbelin and Caroline Lopez)
  3. Italy (Tatiana Andreoli, Lucilla Boari and Chiara Rebagliati)


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