2020 Olympic Trials
The Easton Open and National Matchplay Finals are bustling, grand events attracting many archers. Being an Olympic year the usual World Trials held in combination with the afore-mentioned events, has been replaced with Olympic Trials for very obvious reasons. The Trials are more subdued and exclusive due to an archer’s ability to perform at a high level. The selection process by the National High Performance Program is begun year’s in advance and continues with recruitment of ‘high performance’ archers who are competitive and show potential and commitment to progress to World Class status.
Recurve bows are the only kind of bow allowed in the Olympics. There have been pushes to allow compound bows in the Olympics, but none have been successful. The main reason for this decision is the disparity that would be created among skill levels in teams from different parts of the world. Compound bows have become incredibly popular in the western part of the world while the eastern parts have not taken off in quite the same way. Most archers from Australia, Asia and Africa are still partial to recurve bows.
With compound archers unable to compete in the Olympics, the Trials held at Victor Harbor last week was exclusively for the recurve archer and many of the recurve archers who competed in the Easton Open and Matchplay Series Final were among those who endured a further three days of competition.
On the day, many rounds were shot and scores tallied and checked by the four Archery Australia judges who were involved in all these events. However, the final Australian team will be decided by the Olympic Archery Committee in a few weeks’ time. There are 63 Olympic Archery positions on offer at the Tokyo Olympics and each country wishing to send a team must compete between other countries for a place in one or more divisions. Australia has 6 places to fill and ‘crunch time’ has arrived!
As he left the VHAC grounds following the final day of Olympic Trials and the ‘A’ Team of VHAC members had packed everything away, President Graham Potts posted this comment on the VHAC Facebook page: “Well that’s the gate closed on one huge week for VHAC. This last week we ran – 1 day of unofficial practice, 3 days of the Easton Australian Open, 1 day of National Matchplay Finals and 3 days of Olympic Trials. A massive job for any club and we did it with only 12 or so awesome volunteers. Great work everyone, I’m proud of you all and VHAC has shined again.”
Hosting these national events over the last two years, has exposed Victor Harbor and the Victor Harbor Archery Club to Australia and the world. The finals on Saturday and Sunday were streamed live via YouTube with Archery Australia commentator James Park and our own Pat Coghlan and Graham Potts providing added insights both to rounds being shot, the archers participating and generally praising the VHAC for its organizing efforts and its shooting grounds as “world class and the best in Australia”. Final applause and thanks must be given to
Pat Coghlan for his tireless work behind the scenes in organizing and making these events so successful.