The final day of the 2022 European Youth Championships named two new individual title holders from Great Britain, as well as a bronze medalist.
The first GB appearance for the second day of finals saw Hallie Boulton face Lea Girault from France for the gold medal. Hallie got to a strong start, shooting a 29 opening end to her opponent’s 28. Both archers shot a 28 in the second end to keep the distance between the two of them at 57-56. Hallie then had a tight group to the left of the ten, shooting a 27 to the French archer’s 29, taking the scores to 84-85 in favour of Girault. Hallie stayed at a 27 while the French shot a 26 to bring the match all square at 111 each. In the final end, a 27 from Hallie was enough to overtake Girault, finishing up on 138-137, and earning her the gold medal.
“I’m still shaking, and I’m very excited. I don’t think I’ve ever had that much fun at a shoot before, it’s just been amazing. When it was a tie in the last end, I was like ‘I can do this’,” Hallie told us.
Grace Chappell was up next for Great Britain, shooting against France’s Candice Cadronet. Both women shot an 8 with their first arrows, but quickly reacted to get back into the gold. Grace shot a 28 to Cadronet’s 27, to take the lead after the first end. Having adjusted her sight, Grace remained in the ten, shooting a perfect 30 to the French archer’s 27 to give her a four point lead. Cadronet shot two more consecutive 27s to two consecutive 28s from Grace, extending the Brit’s lead to 114-108. To cap off the match, Grace finished with a 30 to take the gold medal 144-135.
“I’m really overwhelmed and I can’t believe it. I was saying yesterday that all I wanted to do was to shoot well, and I definitely did that, and it was enough to win. Because of the wind I thought anything could happen. We both handled the win really well, and it wasn’t until the last arrow I think where I was like, ‘just shoot your shot, you can do it’… And I did it!” Grace said.
The very last match of the event saw GB’s Monty Orton face Ivan Banchev from Bulgaria. It was a shaky start for both archers, Banchev shooting a 25 to Monty’s 22 in the first end to set points. The second end was a lot closer, only one point separating the archers, a 27 for the Bulgarian and a 26 for Monty. Down 4-0, Monty needed to win or draw the third end in order to stay within a chance of getting the gold medal. Both archers shot a 23, earning them one set point each, which was enough to keep Monty in the game. Having found his rhythm, Monty then shot a 27 to Banchev’s 26 to claw back another lot of set points, bringing the match to 5-3. In the fifth end, a 26 from Monty versus his opponent’s 24 took the match to a tie, after the most nerve-wracking comeback of the day. Monty shot his arrow first, narrowly missing the nine ring, scoring him an eight. Then the Bulgarian shot his arrow, which landed a few centimetres further out into the eight. Monty’s arrow was the closest to the centre, therefore winning him the match and the gold medal.
“It feels great. I haven’t really had time process it yet, but it feels great. It was going through my head going ‘I had the chance’. I just wanted to take every chance that I got,” Monty said.