Top archers eye virtual online series

ZIMBABWE’S top archers are bracing up for this year’s virtual indoor series slated for November 21.

BY FREEMAN MAKOPA

The archers have been granted greenlight to resume competitions since it’s a low risk sport.

Zimbabwe Archery Association secretary-general Iona Bartosz told NewsDay Sport that players were ready to participate in the virtual series.

“World Archery has now introduced a virtual indoor series that will commence on November 21. Distance required will be 18 metres only. This to start off will be allowed indoor and outdoors for countries with their facilities available. Here, we hope to compete in all the categories, Team (three in a team) — Compound, Recurve and in the individual categories.

There will be no age divisions.”

Bartosz said COVID-19 posed serious threat to the sport. However, she added that the World Archery body hosted online tournaments to keep the sport running.

“The archery section has been fairly quiet since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. A number of the archers who have their own equipment have been practicing in safe environs at home, keeping the distances very short and some even practicing with in their houses,” she said.

“During the lockdown, World Archery did organise some online events to keep the sport running, distances were varied, target sizes were adjusted to the distance that archers had available. This was well received by the young archers. There is a barebow division, but as yet, we have not had enquiry into this discipline.”

Additionally, the Federation of African Archery is planning to hold a virtual Continental Championships. This series will have four stages held over weekends and the finals will be held provisionally on February 27-28 2021.

The country’s top archer, Gavin Sutherland’s historic appearance at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games breathed life into Zimbabwean archery.

The 37-year-old became the first Zimbabwean archer to compete at the Olympics in 28 years and ZAA continues to build on that feat ahead of future international tournaments.

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