FITA – FISU: DEVELOPMENT OF UNIVERSITY ARCHERY
In 1991 a first international gathering was organized which was a tournament of club University teams from 6 countries in Louvain-La-Neuve, Belgium. The success of this event organized by Tom Dielen led to the World University Archery Games in 1993 also in Louvain-La-Neuve under the patronage of FITA. This event had participants from Argentina, Chinese Taipei, North Korea, Spain, Germany, Italy, Poland, the Netherlands, Portugal and others. Among the participants were many known faces such as Carole Feriou (multiple FITA World Champion), Juan Carlos Holgado (Olympic Gold Team medalist in 1992), Erwin Verstegen (European Indoor Champion and FITA World Record Holder), Wu Tsung Yi (winner of the men’s individual event during the event and later on Vice-World Outdoor Champion). The tournament was a big success both in quantity and quality of participants. It also was the start of the Academic Round, which is a "hit and miss" team round. This was the first official international tournament with a “hit and miss” system and not as wrongly reported in the last Target the Universiade in Korea. The organizing committee headed by Tom Dielen (still a student at that time) was assisted by Raoul Theeuws and Francis Buggenhout, all well known figures in FITA.
After the success of this event, FISU (International University Sports) embraced Archery and the 1st World University Championships where organized in Vaulx-en-Velin France by the FNSU (Fédération Nationale du Sport Universitaire) in cooperation with the FFTA (French Archery Federation). The 2nd World Championships were organized in Chinese Taipei in 1998 with the assistance of Joe Lin and saw the re-appearance of the hit and miss target for the Academic Round which was unfortunately not used by the French 2 years earlier. The Korean team made a great impression as always as well as the Turkish Team. This was also the last time the event was held indoors since the request was becoming more and louder to make this an outdoor event to enable a possible integration in the Universiades.
Only a few weeks prior to Sydney, the best University archers met in Madrid for the 3rd World University Archery Championships. Some top archers that were not known yet at that stage became on the front scene. The Academic Round was for the first time shot outdoors and once more it was very much appreciated by the archers.
The dream of many of the participants and of Tom Dielen and Juan Carlos Holgado, the two successive Chairmen of the FISU Technical Commission for Archery came true 10 years after the first world event in Belgium when the event was hosted as optional sport for the Universiade in Korea.
Gold medal winners include:
Deniz Gunay (TUR), Anna Campagnoli (ITA), Guy Krueger (USA), Yaroslav Kolesnik (ISR), Jamie Van Natta (USA), J. Yang (CHN) as well as many other known archers around the world.