Poland and India win historic compound team golds

Denmark v Poland

Poland and India made history by claiming their countries’ first-ever world championship compound team golds at the 2023 Hyundai World Archery Championships.

Rafal Dobrowolski, Przemyslaw Konecki and Lukasz Przybylski clinched men’s team gold with a dramatic shoot-off against Denmark, with both sides shooting a perfect 30 in a stunning show of shooting.

“I think it still has to come to me that I am a world champion,” said Konecki.

“For Polish archery it is a big day, we made history today and I hope that it will give us new possibilities to develop even higher. We will only go further and further. We want to be the best.”

It was also elation for compound women Jyothi Surekha VennamAditi Gopichand Swami and Parneet Kaur who won India’s first world championship team gold with victory over Mexico.

India v Mexico

Tore Bjarnarson, Martin Damsbo and Mathias Fullerton finished neck and neck with Poland on 233 out of 240 across four tense ends before Poland edged the shoot-off by the barest of margins.

Polish pair Konecki and Przybylski both took confidence from making the last eight in the individual compound competition yesterday and stormed to victory with an impressive final run.

Konecki needed a 10 standing on the shoot-off line and he knew he could do it.

“All the emotions through the match and the shoot-off, it was perfect. I am so happy that we as a team didn’t breakdown, we stood up to the challenge and we are at our top level,” he said.

In the bronze medal match, Netherlands edged Korea as Mike Schloesser added a team medal to his pair of individuals alongside Sil Pater and Jay Tjin-A-Djie.

Having won bronze in 2019 and silver in 2021, India finally climbed to the top of the compound women’s team podium, as they edged Mexican trio Andrea Becerra, Dafne Quintero and Ana Sofía Hernández, 235-229.

Jyothi Surekha Vennam shooting in the finals arena in Berlin.

Vennam was the only archer to shoot in all three medal victories over the last five years, and fitting sealed victory in Berlin with the final arrow.

“This is very special for us because it’s the first time India has won the gold medal and become world champion,” she said. “It is very special and we are hopeful that going forward we will win more medals for the country.”

She was joined on the podium by 17-year-old Aditi Gopichand Swami and 18-year-old Parneet Kaur, with all three set to battle for the individual compound crown on Saturday.

“We are very happy to win gold,” said Kaur. “There was a lot of noise and everybody was cheering but we were not affected by that, our complete focus was on winning and ensuring that we followed the process.”

The bronze medal was taken by Korea, who led throughout the contest to beat defending champions Colombia, as Oh YoohyunSo Chaewon, and Song Yun Soo took home the medals.

Alexis Ruiz and Sawyer Sullivan winning compound mixed team world title.

In the mixed team, USA edged out Colombia by two points thanks to a skilful display from Alexis Ruiz and Sawyer Sullivan, dethroning 2021 champions Colombia in the process as Sara Lopez and Sebastian Arenas fell just short.

“I was definitely nervous,” admitted Sullivan. “Being up there on the stage, it is a little more pressure.”

“We just kept smiling at each other, our coach Chris Webster does a great job of keeping cool and calm.”

Defeat for Colombia meant the legendary Lopez failed to defend all three of the titles she earned in 2021, but the Colombian was defiant as she still earned a medal in Berlin.

“On the podium I even got very excited because this is a huge accomplishment,” Lopez said. “It has been a great year for us and it’s us the ones that decide what value we give to this medal.”

“Silvers and bronzes are not bad, and losing isn’t bad either. They always expect me to be first, to be the number one and yet even in my lowest moments I’m second, so for me it’s still satisfactory to know that even when I’m weak, I’m still on the podium.”

The bronze match saw a first-ever Hyundai World Archery Championship medal for Luxembourg, as Mariya Shkolna and Gilles Seywert edged out Dutch duo of Schloesser and Sanne de Laat.

“It is a lot of emotions, my hands are still shaking,” said Shkolna. “It is a great feeling, to play a great match and to win it.”

“It is quite a big achievement. Luxembourg is a small country, we don’t have that many athletes. There are a few of us having great results, that is already a lot.”

Competition continues with compound women’s individual finals on Saturday morning in Berlin.