The 2023 edition of the T.R.U. Ball Axcel Back2Back brought us returning, debut and superstar champions.
Held in the T.R.U Ball Axcel Hall at Stoneleigh Park, the Back2Back has solidified its position as one of the most prominent indoor competitions of the year. The shoot this weekend brought together the best archers from across the UK and over a dozen international competitors.
After two and three stages of round robin matches, the top six archers in each category competed in the live final shoot down. They shot five arrow ends with one athlete being eliminated after each end until only one remained.
Current world number five, Denmark’s Mathias Fullerton, took the title for the compound men. He defeated last year’s champion, Dutch archer Mike Schloesser, by shooting 25 perfect 11s in a row in the final. Croatia’s Domagoj Buden earned the third spot on the podium.
Mathias said: “I really like this platform. It takes away the kind of luck you can have at a normal event because you have so many matches; one loss isn’t going to make you go out. There are no lucky winners. I feel like I shot amazing. I’m going to come back every year now.”
On the women’s compound line, world number one Ella Gibson took the win after a triumph the day before also at the National Indoor Championships. Grace Chappell came in second and Izzy Carpenter completed the trio with the bronze.
Alex Wise took the recurve men’s title for the first time in his indoor career. He defeated the 2022 National Indoor Champion James Woodgate, and the archer in third position for their category was Conor Hall.
Alex said: "This is huge for me. I first did the shoot in 2016 after breaking the junior national Portsmouth record, I think I finished 5th there and I think I’ve had almost every position before now, so I’m super happy to get the win!"
For the third year in a row, the final two recurve women were Penny Healey and Gaby Schloesser. This year, it was Gaby who won the top spot on the podium over the GB archer. The last place in the final three was earned by Malgorzata Sobieraj.
Gaby said: “You shoot and all the arrows count. That’s the reason we keep coming back, because of the feeling of the competition. It’s so different to other competitions. To be honest, I got kind of emotional. I know that Penny is a really good shot, so I wouldn’t even look at her target or anything, just because I wanted to do my thing. I felt like I had everything under control once again.”
We would like to extend a massive thank you to all our amazing sponsors, particularly our primary partner, T.R.U. Ball Axcel.
Find all of Sunday’s scores on Ianseo.