Archer Baden­horst to give it his best shot at Games

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - SPORT - MARK ETHERIDGE

SOUTH AFRICA will be rep­re­sented in nine dif­fer­ent sport­ing codes at the up­com­ing World Games to be held in Cali, Colom­bia.

The event is the pre­mier sport­ing com­pe­ti­tion for many codes not con­tested at the Olympic Games.

With the re­curve bow the only bow al­lowed in Olympic com­pe­ti­tion, the World Games in Cali, will serve as Gabriel Baden­horst’s equiv­a­lent.

Bloem­fontein-based Baden­horst, who owns a trans­port com­pany, is Team South Africa’s sole archery com­peti­tor in the com­pound com­pe­ti­tion and he’ll be ac­com­pa­nied on the long haul to Cali by vet­eran man­ager/coach Bar­bara Man­ning.

Baden­horst, 38, is no stranger to the in­ter­na­tional scene, hav­ing com­peted at three World Cup events, two World Cham­pi­onships events and an In­door World Cup (last year in Las Vegas, US).

He booked his ticket to Colom­bia by fin­ish­ing fourth at the World Cham­pi­onships in Italy two years ago, beat­ing some of the world’s best archers on his way to the medal matches.

Says national archery pres­i­dent Sel­wyn Moskovitz: “Gabriel’s one of our top archers and he’ll be one of the 24 top archers in the world that com­pete. He’s been putting in a great amount of work, but is ham­pered by lack of ar­rows and butts.

“It has been very dif­fi­cult in get­ting him this ba­sic equip­ment be­cause of lack of funds but, de­spite this ob­sta­cle, there’s a very good like­li­hood he will make it into the semi-fi­nal, and from there it’s a mat­ter of skills, nerves and readi­ness.

“Sas­coc has pro­vided us with a ticket to shoot in a tour­na­ment just be­fore the World Games where he will face his com­peti­tors. This will give us an in­di­ca­tion of how he will do.

“It’s very dif­fi­cult to pre­dict how he will do at the World Games be­cause we have not com­peted in­ter­na­tion­ally for a while (only be­cause of lack of money) and just go­ing on the scores is not a per­fect way of mea­sur­ing per­for­mance be­cause of dif­fer­ent weather con­di­tions in dif­fer­ent coun­tries (it’s one thing shoot­ing in Bloem­fontein where there is no wind and an­other shoot­ing in an en­vi­ron­ment where there is snow).

“What we need to do is to have the same con­di­tions for the same com­peti­tors, and that we will get in the next few weeks.”

Says Man­ning: “In prepa­ra­tion for the World Games, Gabriel will be at­tend­ing the World Cup event in Medellin, Colom­bia, from July 15-21 and I ex­pect that many of the ath­letes that he will be up against in Cali, will be at this event. He is shoot­ing some of his best scores at the mo­ment so the World Cup should be a real con­fi­dence booster.”

Other coun­tries who have qual­i­fied for the archery com­pe­ti­tion are: Aus­tralia, Canada, Colom­bia, El Sal­vador, France, Iran, USA, Den­mark, Ger­many, In­dia, Italy, Mex­ico, Namibia, Nether­lands, Thai­land and Viet­nam.

“Any­one who wins, is go­ing to have to be on their A game right from the start and hold it to­gether es­pe­cially in the headto-head event,” says Man­ning.

In­di­vid­ual ath­letes will be in­volved in matches of 15 ar­rows (shot from 50m with cu­mu­la­tive score); in case of a tie, a shoot-off of one ar­row will be played.

The Games are on from July 25-Au­gust 4. – road­to­rio.co.za

Sel­wyn Moskovitz

ALL A-QUIVER: Gabriel Baden­horst will be rep­re­sent­ing South Africa at the World Games in Colom­bia from later this month.

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