#TuksArchery: UP archers bag two gold medals at Archery World Cup in Turkey

Posted on June 02, 2019

TuksSport archers made South African sports history last weekend by winning two gold medals during the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya.

Dannelle Wentzel became the first South African archer ever to win an individual event at a World Cup, while Reuben Brent-Meek teamed up with Jeanine van Kradenburg to win the compound mixed final – also a first for South African archery.

By winning gold, Wentzel has qualified to compete at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Moscow in September. It took nerves of steel for Wentzel to prevail in Antalya during the women's compound final. In the end, she managed to beat Alexis Ruiz (USA) by a mere three points. The final score was 144-141.

In an interview just after the final, Wentzel said: "I was so nervous shooting that first arrow. And the second. I've always wanted to shoot on the beach here in Antalya, and I'm thrilled that I can say I did.

"To at long last win is a great feeling. I'm excited about how I performed as I managed to be consistent throughout the competition." The Tuks archer admits that winning gold has given her a lot of confidence in her ability to add more medals to her growing collection, but she is also realistic.

"Archery is a very unpredictable sport. On any given day, any archer who has a proper mindset can win. Archery is very much like golf: if you are in a mentally lousy space or have just a little doubt in your abilities, you are going to miss hitting the bull.

"When you compete, you have to remind yourself to relax and have fun. If you feel sad or upset, you need to take a few deep breaths and refocus on your form and a positive attitude. It is also important to visualise your shots going well. The one thing every archer tries to abide by is the principle that patience is a virtue," Wentzel added.

According to her, while she was at school she participated in various sports, but never with any real success. "I was at best average, but things changed when I got my first bow. It took some convincing before my parents allowed me to start shooting competitively. At first I was not any good – not that it really mattered: I was hooked on archery," said Wentzel, who often trains six days a week, easily shooting up to 200 arrows.

Brent-Meek and Van Kradenburg dropped just two points in a high-quality mixed team final against experienced Danes Stephan Hansen and Tanja Jensen (Denmark). The final score was 158-157.

According to Brent-Meek, he realized that they had won the moment Van Kradenburg released that last arrow. Her body language apparently gave it away.


- Author Wilhelm de Swardt

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