21 August 2023: Archery GB is celebrating a weekend of international successes for several athletes at the final World Cup stage in Paris and the European Para Championships in Rotterdam.
Current women’s compound world number one Gloucestershire’s Ella Gibson, gained her first gold medal of the World Cup season in Paris during an incredibly tight and close-fought gold medal match against Denmark’s Tanja Gellenthien. The match saw both athletes tied at 145-145 after five ends, taking them to a nail-biting sudden death shoot-out where Ella held her nerve to land her final arrow the closest to the centre.
After securing her gold medal, Ella said: “It feels amazing to finally get a gold this year.”
When it’s such high pressure like that [shoot off], you can be really nervous, adrenaline can get to you, and you can be scared.”
“But you just have to remind yourself that, actually, this is the aim, this is the thing that you want. This is the thing you train for every single day, to be on a world stage. You’ve just got to try and remember that, relax and enjoy it.”
“I felt like the universe had given me one little free pass and one extra opportunity to win gold.”
In September, 23-year-old Ella will now take her place in the World Cup Finals alongside individual recurve athlete and world number one Penny Healy in Hermosillo, Mexico.
(Photos left to right: Ella Gibson, Phoebe Paterson Pine & Nathan Macqueen and Dave Phillips and Cameron Radigan after achieving their gold medal (Credit: Izzy Carpenter and European Para Championships).
Success was also savoured at the European Para Championships in Rotterdam where athletes won a number of medals across both the compound and recurve categories.
Nathan Macqueen of Dumfries did the double securing gold medals in both the individual compound men’s and compound mixed team competitions, the latter in partnership for the first time with world number three Phoebe Paterson Pine.
After winning his second gold at the European Para Championships, Nathan said:
“It’s a bit hard to believe to be honest as I had such a bad year last year with health issues and stuff so I only made one competition. To come out this year and medal at every event I’ve been to is a dream come true.”
“I shot my shot the first three arrows then I got really excited and took my foot off the gas pedal a wee bit, but I managed to get it back again and pull away.”
On securing gold in partnership with Macqueen for the first time, Phoebe said:
“(I am) super happy and super proud of both of us. This is our first European gold together. We went out and we shot really well. (We were) fully calm and collected. We worked so well as a team but I’m super proud.”
Recurve glory was also gained in the men’s doubles competition by the formidable pairing of Cwmbran’s Dave Phillipsand Galston’s Cameron Radigan who saw off Turkey to take the title 6-2.
On winning gold, Dave said: “We are absolutely overwhelmed. We knew the conditions were tricky out there. We want to applaud our opponents because we know they are very good quality archers. We are very fortunate and very happy.”
“It was difficult today with the wind but I think we got the gaps in the wind where maybe our opponents were not quite so lucky.”
“Maybe it was a bit of experience, we get a lot of wind in Scotland, in Wales and in Great Britain, so we are masters at it.”
Of his teammate, Radigan said: “It’s a great feeling. I am just happy to be here and shoot with a great teammate.”
“The knowledge that he is giving me through archery is incredible. I learnt so much in such a short period of time. What he has shown me in three weeks has been great.”
Bronze medals were also won in the W1 Mixed Team and compound women’s doubles categories.
In the W1 mixed team, Camberley’s Victoria Kingstone and Ipswich’s Martin Saych following an incredibly close-fought final finally beating Czechia 117-116.
Speaking after their win Martin said: “Normally I am a little bit more composed. It’s been a tough week, so it’s a very good way of finish the week.”
“It was tight. I wasn’t paying attention to the score at all. I was focused on my shots and kept breathing.”
In the compound women’s doubles, Hemel Hempstead’s Jessica Stretton and Crawley’s Jodie Grinham completed their bronze-medal match with a convincing victory against Poland 133-124.
After winning the medal, Jessica said: “I feel pretty proud actually, pretty ecstatic. The conditions were not good at all for that match. The wind was an absolute nightmare. But we all shot probably the best we could, given the conditions. I think we all fought really hard for it.”
“I think if I had to sum this final up in one word, it would be difficult. It’s always difficult with the wind and for the wind to be as changeable as it was today, it definitely was difficult to find the right shot to shoot.”
For more information on Archery GB and its performance teams, please visit archerygb.org.