World No. 1 and World champion Nur Syahidah Alim of Singapore clinched gold medal in the Compound Open Women final and picked up the Best Female Player of the Tournament as Asian teams had a decent campaign at the 6th Fazza Para Archery World Ranking Tounament that concluded in Dubai last week.
Alim overcame a fighting Maria Andrea Virgilio from Italy 135-131 in the final that was led by the former throughout. Virgilio though tried hard to level the scores though it was too little too late. Alim thus continued her great run of form from the 2019 World Para Archery Championships in Holland to the New Year, and hoped to keep up the momentum in the run-up to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
“The final was challenging. It was a close contest and I was trying to stay focused throughout the match. My coach was always telling me, ‘Breathe in Confidence and Breathe out Anxiety’. It is also part of our training process. I am happy to execute the plans my team had. I am looking forward to the Tokyo 2020 Games now,” said Alim, who finished fifth at the Rio 2016 Games and hopes to have a “podium finish in Tokyo.”
“External factors will be important in Tokyo. Thus, we will train accordingly. I hope I can live up to the expectation of my country and I can inspire the youngsters in Singapore.”
Japan finished with two gold medals
Overall it was Italy and Turkey who topped the medals tally with two gold medals each. While Italy finished with eight medals overall, Turkey signed off their campaign with seven medals.
Japan too had picked up two gold medals besides one bronze – thanks to the efforts of Aiko Okazaki in Women W1 Individual and Tomohiro Ueyama and Chika Shigesada in Recurved Mixed Team Open event.
Ueyama in fact missed out on a bronze medal going down to Russia’s Anton Ziapaev 1-7 in Recurve Men Open bronze medal match.
Among others, Singapore was the only other Asian nation to take a gold, all credit to Alim’s efforts, while Mongolia claimed the silver in Recurve Open Men Team event.
Pavlik defends title in style
Elsewhere, the men’s Compound Open final was another edge-of-the-seat affair as Slovakia’s European Championships bronze medallist Marcel Pavlik defeated an equally strong Alberto Simonelli, the Paralympic medallist from Italy, to defend his title in style.
Simonelli stayed on the heels of Pavlik until the end, starting with level scores to a difference of two points in the fourth end 112-114. The Italian star hit a perfect 30 in the fifth end but Pavlik kept his calm and scored a 9, 10 and X to win the thriller by one point 143-142.
The Recurve Open Men title was claimed by Patru Eugen of Romania who shocked Turkish Paralympian Sadik Savas 6-2, before Merve Nur Eroglu compensated it and gave Turkey its first gold in Recurve Open Women’s final. Eroglu defeated London Paralympic silver medallist champion Elisabetta Mijno 7-1 for her first international gold medal. She is a two-time Worlds silver medallist.
The W1 Men and Women Open events were won by Gaspar Tomas of Hungary and Okazaki. Tomas saw off Jean Pierre Antonios 134-126, while Okazaki made a strong comeback in the final end to win 115-111 over Great Britain’s Victoria Rumary.
Overall 111 Para archers from 25 countries, including 10 Asian nations, took part in the 2020 edition of the Championships.