BAKU-2015


Archery targets European Games as Olympic qualifier

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Baku, June 20, AZERTAC 

The European Games could become a qualifying event for the Olympic Games archery competition.

Tom Dielen, the head of World Archery, the sport's international federation, spoke about the prospect at the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium on Saturday.

"We need to see how we will integrate the Games into the calendar but I really believe in its future as an Olympic qualifier," Dielen said.

"It was difficult for people to know what it would be like because it was the first time, but Baku 2015 is proving its value and its credibility from a sports point of view for the Games to be a permanent fixture on the sporting calendar."

Competing in the Games can help European archers to close the gap on Asian and American athletes, Dielen continued, while for smaller nations it is an opportunity to compete in a multi-sports event they would not otherwise have.

"It will help to raise the level in Europe because it is basically the same environment as an Olympic Games with the same challenges."

In terms of the competition at Baku 2015, he said that Belarus and Spain have performed above expectations while France, Russia and Germany have so far fared less impressively.

"I expected at least a medal from the Germans in the team events," Dielen added. "I think they will do well in the individual. They shot well yesterday (Friday). Maja Jager is also one to watch. She's the world champion.

"The Slovenians (who were fourth) were a nice surprise in the mixed."

In the men's competition, he tipped one of the Italians to win another medal, along with one of the Dutchmen, Rick van der Ven and Sjef van den Berg.

"The Dutch, who are a very young team, have confirmed they have a lot of potential. (Pierre) Plihon is another one to watch."

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