Saturday 23 March

Team competition

The team event was to take place according the FITA format, meaning three archers shooting nine arrows at 18m on 9 separate spots in three minutes.

Team match

There was only one Dutch team, the men recurve. They had had to shoot against Slovenia. This was an exeception to the rules, as the Dutch were 9th placed. In order to promote the sport and allow participants to gain some experience, the Dutch team had to shoot against Slovenia while all the others had a blank match.

Holland started well, but in the first series, they had a miss: 73-83. In the second series, they made up 9 points: 157-158, but this was not enough and they were eliminated by 3 points 238-241.

As there weren't that many teams, I will keep this part short:
Chinese Taipei beat France 250-244 and won the women recurve team competition, Italy won the men's competition by beating France 248-251.
Chinese Taipei also won the womens compound event from France 255-244, but France won the title in the men's compound division by beating Croatia 254-249.

Most of us stayed for the elimination rounds, Joke and Albert went to the town centre do do some shopping.

We got in our outfits for the closing ceremony before the presentation of the awards and had an official team photo taken, again, I was all alone as the Brazilian team. In the mean time, the Dutch team had had already made sure that they had a big poster from the championships. I got one too, but did do this less conspicuously as the Dutch, who took the most visible copy available in plain sight before the closing ceremony (they did ask for permission, though).

The presentation of the awards went quickly and we proceeded to the closing ceremony. Again, we had to parade with flags, but now we were preceeded by a jazz band playing a merry tune. After a longish speech by the FISU delegate, the Championships were declared officially closed. We were marched off again and after a few rounds in the hall, the French team made a charge across the hall and everyone just ran around.

Next we went back to the hotel were we, or at least some of us, changed into our best clothes for the gala dinner. The dinner was to be held in the cultural centre opposite the Palais des Sports. We had brought a crate of Grolsch beer 'for some special occasion', so it too was brought along to the dinner.

The main auditorium had been converted to banquet hall, including a dance floor. The same jazz band from the closing ceremony was playing. This time there were also speeches, mostly to thank the organisers, but, fortunately, the food was brought first. In the meantime we had presented the British team, as well as some officials, with Grolsch bottles. They all seemed to like it. Of course, we also kept a few bottles for ourselves. The evening passed by on a very civilised manner. The dinner consisted of foie gras (goose liver pate), canard (duck) with pomme au gratin (potatoes) and frommage (cheese). The name of the cheese I forgot, but it had some kind of blue fungus on top of it, the kind you get when you leave food in the fridge for too long. It looked funny, but the French seemed to like it, so most of us gave it a try. I enjoyed it, and so did Jeroen, who was donated the remainder of the cheeses by the people who didn't like it. It was too much for Jeroen, but he gave it his best shot. To finish off there was dessert, a big cake in an archery theme, which also tasted very well.

In the meantime, people started dancing, archers from Kazachstan setting a good example and enjoying themselves. This went on to about midnight. About this time, the band stopped and 'regular' music was played and more people moved to the dance floor. To be honest, it wasn't really my kind of dance music (Cranberries, U2, some house) but this wasn't a problem, as we had had enough to drink not to care. Unfortunately, there were no more drinks at this moment. We had had enough alcohol, so it wasn't a bad idea to cut that off, but some water is nice if you are jumping around on the dance floor. Never mind, we (Dave, Judith, Simon and Marcelo) made quite a fool of ourselves, especially Simon behaved in a way we never expected, jumping and running around the dance floor and the stage on music he normally wouldn't think about listening to.

Simon, Judith and Dave on the way back from the Gala-dinner

The Belgian team and part of the Italian team also took part, as well as quite a few members of the work party. The Belgians, who were all native French speakers, started speaking Dutch and this was remakably better than the days before. I wonder why.... We left at about 2:00 as we were exhausted, however, we weren't the last ones. On our way out we congratulated Franck Dauphin (compound) with his gold medal. He must have found us a little peculiar, to say the least.
The way back to the hotel was also quite amusing. Simon, Judith and Dave joined forces (and arms) to keep walking in a straight line. I don't think they would have coped so well if they would have had to walk on their own, as Simon showed when he let the others go for a minute.