Bow International - - INTERVIEW -

the car and drive 2500km to go in Swe­den where the prac­tice con­di­tions were sim­ply awe­some. Es­sen­tially, I'm in re­cov­ery mode, not per­for­mance-ori­ented. A com­pli­cated re­cov­ery be­cause the sit­u­a­tion is new, we don't know where we are go­ing."

The French in­ter­na­tional team has a long his­tory at the top level and at the Olympics. France is ac­tu­ally third on the all-time archery medal list for the Olympics, with 25 medals in to­tal, just be­hind the United States and Korea. At least one French archery ath­lete has at­tended ev­ery Games since 1984. So it was a deep shock that the French re­curve teams fin­ished the qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ments in 2019 with­out a sin­gle spot for the Games.

Even more frus­trat­ing, they came in­cred­i­bly close. At the pri­mary qual­i­fier in Den Bosch, where the teams have to win a sin­gle match, the men's team shot su­perbly against the top-ranked Chi­nese Taipei, with Plihon rock-solid. All but one of their 24 ar­rows goes in the yel­low, but just a few too many were nines, against their on-fire Asian op­po­nents. It went to a tiebreak, which France then man­aged to lose. The women's team also left the Nether­lands empty handed.

A few weeks later at the Eu­ro­pean Games in Minsk, the French men’s team opened with an im­pres­sive win to take re­curve team gold in Minsk, where Plihon moved to the an­chor role usu­ally re­served for team­mate Jean-charles Val­ladont.

“It’s new for me, [an­chor­ing] but it went well for me [in Minsk], and I’m in a good mo­ment now, and I feel able to take charge and han­dle my emo­tions well enough to be there.” he said af­ter­wards.

But it was only the in­di­vid­ual and the mixed

Ax­cel Curve RX

Hoyt For­mula Xi RH 25 inches, red / slate

Hoyt For­mula Ve­los Bam­boo in long, 44lb

Ax­cel Achieve XP Sight Pin: Ax­cel Curve RX with "small in­ner ring" / 0.29 red fi­bre Beiter

I shot Arc Sys­tème for years and they are just awe­some. But I am test­ing a dif­fer­ent kind of sta­biliser in this pe­riod, so I can’t re­ally say any­thing about at the mo­ment. usu­ally be­tween 80° and 90° width and 10° down, and the front rod straight.

Cus­tom grip made by Jerome Trouil­let (avail­able from trouil­let.org) Shibuya

Arc Sys­tème 0.25 Brownell XS2 / 1d serv­ing Fair­weather RH, Large ring 23 Easton X10 (350 spine)

K&K archery 2,5inches

Beiter #2

Easton Tung­sten 120 grains

team events that could gar­ner them Olympic places. Plihon, after qual­i­fy­ing sec­ond, had a dis­as­trous match against home­town hero Pavel Dali­dovich of Be­larus on Mon­day, where he lost 6-4. De­spite com­ing close again, France left Be­larus again with­out a sin­gle Olympic spot.

How are the French team train­ing to get the re­main­ing spots for the Games? "[Coach] Ni­co­las Ri­faut vis­ited me in Swe­den in July to have a train­ing camp and keep fol­low­ing the prac­tice. Even if the cri­sis is here, I think we have the great luck to have a strong group, so we keep push­ing each other and chal­leng­ing ba­si­cally ex­cept the thrill of com­pe­ti­tion, the prac­tice re­mains the same."

It should be noted that France's men won their last Olympic spots for Rio at the very last minute, at the fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment; mak­ing Plihon partly re­spon­si­ble for Val­ladont's sil­ver medal in Rio. You would not put it past a re­peat at the lat­est fi­nal qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment next year for Tokyo.

“In archery you shoot against you. It’s not re­ally against an­other team. The first op­po­nent is your own fear. It’s good to fight against it.”

"I will get up and I will be even bet­ter."

The Nimes tour­na­ment is one of the most im­por­tant on the archery cal­en­dar.

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