Twenty-four nations won quota places for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games at the main qualifying tournament, held during the Rosario 2017 World Archery Youth Championships exactly one year before the Games begin in Argentina.
Recurve cadet athletes born between 1 January 2001 and 31 December 2003 were eligible to compete.
Nations who had athletes remaining in the last 16 of either the boys’ or girls’ competitions all qualified the maximum one place.
“I’m so happy I got to give Italy the place. I shot the arrows but it was something I did for my nation,” said Italy’s Federico Fabrizzi, who was one of the boys to quality a place.
Brazil’s Mateus de Carvalho, another qualifier, added: “The wind was hard but I knew how to read it. I think I still need to work more and keep training to be the one selected next year, which I would love to be.”
All spaces won are assigned to a nation, rather than an archer, which may then decide who fills the place at the Games.
There were two leftover places in each division, created when a nation had more than one athlete in the last 16. Korea had two athletes in both the boys’ and girls’ last 16, plus Ukraine in the former and China in the latter.
“This is a great pride for our country,” said Korea’s An San. “I’m glad we guaranteed the place. We don’t know who’ll go to Buenos Aires, so I will keep training and fight hard.”
“I’ll need to practise in all kinds of conditions as here, for example, I struggled in the wind.”
The four extra places were made available to the third-round losers in a secondary tournament.
Nine girls – representing Chile, Finland, Italy, Iran, Japan, Malaysia and Philippines – and 11 boys – from Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Ecuador, Estonia, Great Britain, Poland, Puerto Rico, Romania and Spain – were eligible to contest these last two quota spots each.
Belgian, British and Romanian chances in the boys’ event fell in the first match; then Spain, Bulgaria and Ecuador’s hopes in the second.
It left China’s Zhang Chengming against Adrian Munoz of Puerto Rico for one space, Poland’s Andrzej Nescior and Estonia’s Hendrik Oun the other. Zhang beat Munoz in five sets, while Nescior and Oun went to a shoot-off.
Nescior’s tiebreak arrow, in high winds, landed on the wrong target – and Estonia and China took the two last boys’ spots.
Finland and Malaysia’s girls were out before the semifinals.
The places came down to matches between Japan’s Uehara Ruka (who had the loudest support on the field) and Chile’s Isabella Bassi, and Nicole Marie Tagle of the Philippines and Iranian archer Sogand Rahmani.
Japan took the first, Philippines the second. “I’m so relieved,” said Japanese archer Uehara.
“I’m over the moon I got this place for Great Britain,” said Alyssia. “We’ve got a selection shoot to choose who’ll shoot [at the Youth Olympic Games] next year and I’m hoping I’ll get it.”
QUOTA BY COUNTRY
- AUSTRALIA – 1 GIRL
- BRAZIL – 1 BOY
- CHINA – 1 BOY, 1 GIRL
- COLOMBIA – 1 BOY
- ESTONIA – 1 BOY
- FRANCE – 1 GIRL
- GERMANY – 1 BOY
- GREAT BRITAIN – 1 GIRL
- IRAN – 1 BOY
- ITALY – 1 BOY
- JAPAN – 1 BOY, 1 GIRL
- KAZAKHSTAN – 1 GIRL
- KOREA – 1 BOY, 1 GIRL
- MEXICO – 1 BOY, 1 GIRL
- MOLDOVA – 1 GIRL
- NETHERLANDS – 1 GIRL
- PHILIPPINES – 1 GIRL
- RUSSIA – 1 BOY, 1 GIRL
- SPAIN – 1 GIRL
- SRI LANKA – 1 BOY
- CHINESE TAIPEI – 1 BOY, 1 GIRL
- TURKEY – 1 BOY
- UKRAINE – 1 BOY, 1 GIRL
- USA – 1 BOY, 1 GIRL
The 2017 World Archery Youth Championships run 2 to 10 October in Rosario, Argentina.