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Olympian Archers strike Gold



WUHAN (CHN) - On 24 October the archery competition of the 7th CISM Military World Summer Games came to an end with a thrilling final in both men’s and women’s individual recurve event where former Olympian archers pocketed the gold.

In the Women’s Individual Recurve competition German archer Elena Richter – 22nd on the World Archery Ranking List – took the gold beating her Polish opponent Sylwia Zyzanska (WA 74th) fighting back from trailing behind earlier in the competition.

“I was excited to shoot this final. However, when I got behind it shook me up a little bit. I’m glad it worked out at the end and I managed to regain my focus on the target and never let go again.”



Elena’s confidence grew throughout the tournament. Also, in the last match she managed to keep her cool. “It hasn’t been an easy task,” the 30-year old Berliner admits. “We weren’t able to get used to the playing field in such a short time prior to the competition. We only had one day to do so. Luckily, I also had the opportunity to train in the Village. Not a normal procedure before competitions. But indeed, I got stronger during the competition and got my mind game straight.”

It’s Elena’s first participation at the CISM Games. “As a regular member of the military sports team, competing at these Military Games is one of the highlights of our purpose. It feels great to be here as part of the team. It also gives me the opportunity to talk to other soldiers, who’ve been on missions, some of them getting wounded. I have a lot of respect for all participants here and I’m happy to be part of this big military sports family.”

Wuhan has been awesome for the German archer. “I compare it with the Olympics. I’ve participated at the 2012 London Games. I dare say this is the next step on the ladder. The venues are incredible, the Athletes’ Village a fantastic place to be, everything is well organized, and the people here are so friendly and helpful,” ends a genuinely impressed Elena.

For Elena, her first participation at the Military Games resulted in a first place with a shining gold medal as a mantlepiece … What could she have wished for more?



Italian archer Marco Galiazzo (WA 23rd) beat Korean Wooseok Lee in the men’s individual final. The Italian is a seasoned veteran with three Olympic medals to show for: individual gold in 2004, team silver in 2008 and team gold in 2012!

The 36-year old Padova native started strongly in the first round marking two tens … to give his lead away shooting only a four with the third arrow. For Lee an opportunity to get ahead of the 2004 Athens’ Olympic Champion. Hence, the match resulted in another thriller with matching scores until Marco regained his cool and ended the final with a perfect triple ten, adding a gold to the silver he already pocketed in the men’s team competition.

“Every time I go out there, I shoot the best I can and try to win,” Marco told CISM Media in the Mixed Zone. Archery and Military go well together in Italy, as apparently all best archers are service man and women. “In Italy it would be impossible to be a professional archer outside the army. Thanks to the military we can train and have the resources to do so,” the Air Force corporal explains. Marco won the Olympic individual gold in Athens. Fifteen years later he still is on top of his game, but the competition is fierce. “After Athens I noticed that the leading archery nations are even working harder to excel on the playing field. As a result, it’s tougher to win each competition these days. Italy is not the top country in the world right now. There are many contenders. Of course, Korea, but also France and Spain for instance.”



Winning the gold at these Military Games gives Marco a boost to work hard to get qualified for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. 

“I wasn’t shooting my best in this competition,” Marco admits. “My third arrow was not always on the mark, shooting an eight and even a four. I have to work more on my mind game. In archery the mind is a very important parameter. My mind says shoot the yellow (10-mark ed.) but the body does not always follow,” Marco laughs. After the terrible four mark in the first round, Marco set his mind straight for the next round. “Actually, the first shot is easier”, he says. “You don’t have the pressure of it being your last arrow that can make the difference. But if you already shot two tens, like in the last round, and you must shoot a third ten to win, that’s where the stress mounts. That was the toughest arrow of the match to shoot. Luckily, I managed,” he says.



And he surely did with a shiny gold medal as a fantastic reward after presenting the spectators a thriller of a final to watch!


(Source: CISM Media and Communication Department – Journalist & Pictures:  Christian Pierre)