Grahamstown champs showcase SA talent | SASCOC - SASCOC

Grahamstown champs showcase SA talent

Sunday sees the start of the 61st national archery championships in Grahamstown, Eastern Cape.

It’s all systems go for the country’s top archers as the five-day championships have met all the criteria from the International Archery Federation (FITA) and has been granted world ranking status.

Says Barbara Manning, the SANAA secretary: “The championships will be the most impressive tournament of its kind to be held in Africa this year, attracting both foreign and domestic athletes, including former Olympians and several world ranked archers. The championships are a particularly important event on the global sporting calendar, culminating in the selection of the South African team to represent South Africa at the upcoming World Championships and Para World Championships to be held in Italy.

“Local interest in the championships has peaked as it is a qualifier for the world championships, creating a more than the usual excitement around this competition.

“At the same time, it will showcase what the country can offer to the international archery communities, especially in the light of South Africa winning a number of medals in the last series of the archery World Cup and Commonwealth Games”, she added.

Archers will shoot a total of 144 scoring arrows on the first day — from 90 metres for men, to 20m for the under 13’s — preparing them for the eliminations on the second day. As a world ranking tournament, carrying world ranking points, the field of competitors will be narrowed down by the 70m eliminations round for recurve archers and 50m for compound style archers to the top three archers in each shooting category.

Leading the field will be local archer and world record holder Septimus Cilliers and Nico Benade, both of whom were in action at last year’s Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India and are the only two African archers to shoot a score of over 1400.