The GB compound archer breaks an eight-year-old world record with a 715 at the European Games in Poland.
At the third instalment of the European Games in Krakow, Poland, GB compound woman Ella Gibson shot the best qualifying round of her career. She opened the WA 50 metre round with a 357, three points away from perfect. With the old record standing 713 by Colombia’s Sara Lopez, Ella could only drop a maximum of three points in the next half of qualification to beat this score. In the second 350 of the round, Ella shot an almost clean 358, securing her an impressive 715 finish.
About her record, Ella said: “It means so much to me. I’ve been near before and just missed out. This year’s been a really difficult year for me, I’ve had things go wrong and things breaking, so it’s been stressful. But it means so much to be able to finally do this, and not just do it but also to get a PB by three points.”
Breaking this record was anything short of an easy feat. Nerves, expectation and equipment troubles all played a part running up to the day itself. Upon arriving in Poland, Ella’s arrow rest was broken, so she had to replace it using the rest from her spare bow, which she had to do in only one hour.
The official practice session was also not what Ella hoped it would be, but a quick talk from her coach, Simon Scott, soon remedied her belief in herself.
Ella said: “I talked to my coach, and he said the reason I shot so well last year was because I had that total confidence about me, that I always knew when I shot an arrow that it’d be a ten. So, when I woke up this morning, I decided that today would be a good day and that I wouldn’t doubt myself.”
Ella will move straight into the quarter finals, which will take place on Wednesday 28 June next week.
“Qualifying doesn’t equal a gold medal, so I still need to be prepared for matches and make sure that I bring the same standard that I had today to those matches.”
On the recurve side, Penny Healey shot a 681 to beat her own senior UK record and her own U21 European record by one point. She's ranked in 2nd place, tied with 1st place on score, but with two tens less. As a mixed team, her and Monty ranked in 2nd with a combined score of 1364, smashing the U21 mixed team European record by 36 points! Bryony Pitman finished qualification in 16th place with 652, and Jaspreet Sagoo shot 637 points to put her in 28th. As a three, the women finished in 3rd place.
Penny said: "It feels amazing and I'm actually shaking with nerves and excitement right now! My goal for this year was to beat my PB, and I've now done it half way through the year."
The recurve men also had a very successful day, following a temporary evacuation due to weather conditions. Monty Orton continued his qualifying success from the World Cup in Colombia by equalling his PB which he shot there just last week. He shot a score of 683 with a 340 front half and a 343 back half, placing him in 3rd in the overall rankings. Teammate Alex Wise finished in 19th with a 663, and James Woodgate placed in 30th with a 654. The trio finished the team qualification in 5th.
Monty said: “I'm really happy with how the kits performing and how I'm performing, and how everything has come together with the hard work."
Read up on all the score and find the full schedule using the link here.