Thursday 21 March

First competition day: qualifying

The big day for everyone.

Qualification rounds consisted of a 25m 30 arrow round in the morning and an 18m 30 arrow round in the afternoon.

As I wasn't there at the ENTPE-hall, where the women recurve and men compound shot, Simon wrote a piece on the shooting there which is inserted below.

We all got up real early to be on time to find a good place for our bows and stuff before the practice started at 8:30 in the ENTPE shooting-hall. Four archers (Christel and Judith recurve women, Dave and I compound men) and our trainer Albert Sanders with a bag of food and drinks.

At 8:30 the training began (25 metres) (this was instead of 6 practice arrows before the real match). The lighting conditions were very good, but Christel found it to be far too bright. At Sagittarius we are used to a couple of thousand Watts on our targets, so we weren't complaining.

Most archers stopped at 9:00 to save their strength.
At 9:30 the match began and the tension was rising, as this was the moment all would become clear.

Every time after shooting two rounds, the (total) scores had to be entered into a machine (which, of course, was broken half the time) so the scores could be placed on the scoreboard with the updated rankings. This score and ranking business was a little distracting and so was the timing equipment which was not functioning very well (and we thought we had trouble with our timer...)

After the first 30 arrows were away, Dave and Judith were both sadly off the board (meaning they couldn't go to the finals the next day if they didn't compensate on the 18 metres), Christel was 9th (with a disappointing score, she said) and I was 14th with a score of 273 (ten points below the number 1).

After having gone to the Palais des Sports to see the recurve men (who were just finished when we finished autographing a bunch of programme booklets of the children who were there to watch, we went eating in the student restaurant of the University. In the afternoon the 18 metres was on 3-spot targets for compound and normal 40 cm targets for the women. I guess everything was going the usual way, because I can't remember much about it. At the end of the afternoon, Dave and Judith were definitely knocked out of the competition. Christel went to the next round as 6th with a score of 274+281=555, I made it as 15th with 273+273=546 to the 1/8th finals the next day in Palais des Sports.

Because of the knock-out system in the finals, I would have to shoot against Jonathan Mynott, the tall Brit with the hat... This promised to be quite an attraction, as both Jonathan and I were a head taller than most other competitors.

Overall, there were only two slightly abnormal things this day, first Mynott had tackle-trouble, his scope-sight decided the floor was a better place to be. And Stephane Dardenne was shooting so bad (he thought anyway) that he kicked a chair halfway through the hall (er, I'm exaggerating a little).

Full results for the women recurve qualifying round.
Full results for the compound men and women qualifying round.

So far Simon's part.

At the Palais des Sports, the competition went well for Yaroslav Kolesnik from Israel. He led most of the day, but slipped a few points at the end and ended up third, only one point behind Jean-François Roche who was first with a score of 291+285=576 and behind (on golds) Filippo Clini from Italy, who had the same score.

At the end of shooting it was disappointment for some, success for others. I did not make the cut and was 33rd. I was (and still am) not entirely happy with this result, but that how it goes. Never mind, I just hope that I will get the chance to make up for it someday. The others did also have mixed results.
In the recurve division Geert qualified 9th with 283+287=570. Jeroen also qualified, 25 with a score of 276+271=547.

The men's shooting line

Full results for the men recurve qualifying round.

After the competition, some of us went to visit the town centre of Lyon with our interpreters. There we had a look around, Joke went to a museum (glad somebody took part of the cultural details!), did some shopping and postcard writing, dodged a few beggars and people asking for donations and went back to Vaulx-en-Velin for dinner. By now, I was extremely tired and, I think, so were the others.

In the mensa, we had some unexpected entertainment in the form of French drinking songs. A group of the students who helped with the organisation, came in making a lot of noise. After they sat down, they started singing a song of which the lyrics were very obscure as far as I could make out. My suspicion was confirmed when the singers climbed on their chairs, got their coats and used them to make a bottom wiping gesture while singing. This went on for at least half an hour, until one of them, who had not been singing, climbed on a chair and 'mooned' the others.

The 'butt' song

Later, we learned from our interpreters that this song is appropriately called 'show me your bottom because we haven't seen it for a long time'. This song is directed to a person who is to drop their pants . It is continued, with the accompanying gestures, until the said person 'obliges' the others.

Simon on the phone to Sagittarius while the others play cards

After this entertainment we went back to the hotel where I made some notes for this report and the others played cards. Simon tried to phone Sagittarius and, after a few tries and some help from his flatmates, we got through. Alban (our chairman) answered and we told him what had happened so far. As expected, there weren't many people at the club, to be exact: 3. We will have to do something about this when we get back and find some suitable successors, who are as nuts as the Sagittarius members who went to France.