Chirault sets French record (692) during qualifying at Europeans

Thomas Chirault shoots during qualifying at the European Championships.

Thomas Chirault became the first French archer to ever shoot 690-points-plus in qualifying this morning when he secured top seed at the European Championships with a career competition-best 692 in Essen.

Katharina Bauer, Mike Schloesser and Andrea Muñoz also qualified top.

The recurve men’s round was a three-way tussle between Chirault, 17-year-old teammate Baptiste Addis and reigning Olympic and World Archery Champion Mete Gazoz. It was the French leader’s back half, a 348/360, that saw him surge to the front.

“I shot really good. But we win medals in matches and I am focused on my matches,” said Chirault.

“We’ve practised so hard for this year. We want to win the gold [at the Olympics] in Paris so we have to win some competitions before to be prepared. This European Championships is a good competition to win to get that experience.”

Emerging talent Addis led the 70-metre round for much of the morning.

Two years ago, it would have been unthinkable to predict that France would have not one but two top-tier talents pacing international fields less than three months before the country’s home Olympics.

“It is not my goal to be in the team in Paris,” said Chirault. “It’s my goal to win the gold in Paris.”

The target line at the European Championships.

This is the second consecutive international event at which the French national record has been broken. Addis stole Chirault’s old mark of 684, putting three points on the score in Shanghai.

France enters the Essen brackets seeded top in the recurve men’s team and the mixed team events, too.

But the recurve women’s competition remains under local ownership. Katharina Bauer continued what is shaping up to be the best season of her career with her first 680-point round in international competition this morning, as she looks to upgrade the continental bronze she won two years ago in Munich.

“Of course, I‘m super happy and it’s cool that I can show here what I show from time to time in training,” she said.

I’m not where I want to be yet, but I’m on the right track and it gives me confidence for the next few days. The starting position is good for today, but the cards will be reshuffled in the next few days.”

Bauer shot eight points more than Chiara Rebagliati (672), who seeded second.

Both top-seeded recurve teams already have their full quotas secured for the upcoming Olympics. The champions at this event will win tickets – and if the gold medallists are ineligible, the spots will be reallocated down to fourth place.

Good news for the squads from Italy, who qualified second in both competitions.

Competition in Essen continues with eliminations on Thursday.

Top seeds: 2024 Europeans

Full results on the event page.