France has three men’s Shanghai medals guaranteed
Shanghai (CHN) - Thursday, April 24, 2014
Pierre-Julien DELOCHE shot a European Record and set up an all-France gold final with French teammate Sébastien PEINEAU. The third is a surprise.
“It is my fourth outdoor final in a row: World Games, Wroclaw World Cup, World Championships, and now Shanghai,” said DELOCHE. “It is what I shoot for.”
The world number one never scored below 148 in four matches and shot a new personal best, 150 with nine Xs – which just so happened to be a new European record.
“I want to keep that number one ranking, which is not easy as the field is so good. I trained hard during the winter and it’s paying off. I’ve made so many changes in my mental game, my technique, my equipment and my position.”
“I’m more relaxed.”
That’s good, for an athlete who’s planning to become a full-time pro in the near future: “Archery deserves dedication and focus.”
That’s exactly what DELOCHE will need to reach his goal for 2014: Lausanne, and the World Cup Final. “I’d like to qualify, and medal there,” said DELOCHE. “It’s extra special because my parents are Swiss.”
The 32-year-old PJ will face in the final is French teammate Sébastien PEINEAU. He’s the current Indoor Archery World Cup Champion, and proved his dangerous potential by beating second-seeded Bridger DEATON in the semifinals.
“To shoot against a teammate is special, but he’s an opponent before anything else,” said PEINEAU – who won the pair’s last match-up two months ago, at the French indoors.
Talking of indoors… full-time employee of Nimes archery club – the organisers of the World Archery Indoor Championships earlier this year – Pierre PLIHON made the recurve men’s gold medal match at his first ever international shoot. He qualified a strong 10th, then beat Juan Rene SERRANO and Taylor WORTH to claim a finals spot.
“I think of nothing else but preparing my shot,” said PLIHON. “The fear of winning? That doesn’t exist.”
The French archer has been shooting for 12 years and started with a then two-decade-old bow given to him by his godfather. We’ll be seeing more of this new face, since today’s result qualified him for the French team at Medellin. Before then, though, he’ll shoot against Hideki KIKUCHI for honours at Shanghai.
All a bit overwhelming, maybe – as Pierre confirmed: “It’s a childhood dream come true.”
Host country China’s XU Jing will shoot against Elena RICHTER of Germany for women’s gold.
See full results from individual eliminations at the first 2014 Archery World Cup stage in Shanghai.