Archery was one of the most heavily seeded disciplines at the European Games. All the best on the Old Continent came. It didn’t move the fans as much as the events on the Market Square in Krakow, but it also had its cool media moments.
The events that most attracted the attention of Polish fans and the Polish media were Sławomir Napłoszek’s performance in the Olympic archery competition and Łukasz Przybylski’s exciting medal fight in compound archery.
“Every Games, be they European or Olympic, bring together the best athletes every time. As only 48 athletes were able to compete in Krakow, with two or three exceptions, all the others have scores above 670 in their CVs. This level, which could be seen in Krakow, was European, world level. We had the Olympic champion Mete Gazoz from Turkey at the start line,” said Napłoszek, whose performance at the KS Płaszowianka stadium was specially attended by some media representatives.
However, the most recognisable of Polish archers lost in the 1/32 final to Ukrainian Artiom Ovchinnikov. – I regret it very much. In the last shot to lead to extra time I had to hit a ten. But it wasn’t a good shot, I felt right away that I went wrong with my left hand,” said Naploszek, who recalled at the same time that when he was ranked 4th in the 2015 European Games, he was winning with a very young Gazoz at the time. – He is a perfect example of what happens when you put a focus on archery development, when coaches can go to seminars, develop themselves and then teach the athletes something new. Gazoz developed so much in a few years that he eventually became an Olympic champion, but it’s not that he did it by himself, that he trained everything by himself,” Napłoszek stressed.
The archer, who competed in the Games for the first time in 1992 in Barcelona, maintains his declaration that the issue of performing in Paris is not being let go and he still intends to fight for qualification for the 2024 Games. – This is a slogan that is true. I will not let go, but it is important to me that the Polish Archery Federation also lets go. My willingness can only be half the battle in this regard. The other half is to give me a chance. I have already announced that Krakow was the last European Games for me and a possible start in Paris would also mean my last Olympic performance,” says Napłoszek.
However, it is difficult for him to talk about specifics in detail because.
“I can have such plans as the Polish Archery Association will allow me. I, of course, would love to compete at the world championships, will I be worthy? There is a new board, they probably have new ideas. It may turn out that I am no longer useful for them. Of course I’m preparing as if I’m going to compete in the world championships in Berlin, I’d like to compete there because that would be another performance where you can make a qualification for the Olympics. And this is the “last light” for me to continue my archery career, because somewhere there is a dream to fight for that coveted medal,” said Napłoszek.
Łukasz Przybylski came very close to a medal in compound archery, which is not an Olympic competition. After a great shooting performance, which ended in the Pole’s defeat by 146:149, the bronze medal hung around the neck of Turk Emircan Haney.
“Maybe you couldn’t see from me that I was satisfied, but for me it is a very good performance. I do archery as an amateur because it is my passion. I am happy to take fourth place at such a significant event,” said Przybylski. – Archery, after the change of the formula, when qualifications and duels in subsequent rounds were changed to shorter ones, has become better to watch. It is a good discipline to show to the public and in the media,” explained Przybylski.
And the fact that we had such a well-attended archery event in Poland, held at a well-prepared venue and in an environment that appealed to virtually all foreign visitors, simply had to make some new archery fans….