Baku, June 15, AZERTAC
The inaugural European Games will mark the multi-sport debut of the new set system - a move designed to make the sport more exciting.
Previously, the archer who scored most points won the match. Now it is all about who wins the most three-arrow sets - the winner of the set scores two points and if the scores are equal, each archer scores one.
"The drama of the head-to-head sets is more captivating for television and for the public," said Gabriele Giovine, spokesperson for World Archery Europe. "Since it was formally adopted in 2014, we have seen audiences rise significantly."
Spain's Miguel Alvarino Garcia, who finished sixth at Shanghai's 2015 World Cup opener earlier this year, is seen by many as the one to beat in the men's competition, beginning with the ranking round on Tuesday at Baku's Tofiq Bahramov Stadium.
"It's great. I feel confident and I want to do well here. I want to fight in the team event and the individual event for a medal," said Garcia.
Russia's women's team coach Stanislav Zabrodisky has identified western European teams as his side's main rivals in the team competition, which also starts tomorrow.
"France, Italy, Germany and Spain will be our strongest opponents," he said. The Germans, led by Karina Winter, are ranked fourth in the world, four places higher than the Russian team.
A surprise medal contender could be the British team. "We’ve got Naomi Folkard, who’s a three-time Olympian, and Amy Oliver was an Olympian in London (2012), so those girls are really experienced," said the third member of the team, Nicky Hunt.
The draw for the team event will be decided by the ranking round for the individual event, in which all archers fire 72 arrows.
The rankings of the three team members are added up to determine the 15 qualifiers for the team event. Hosts Azerbaijan qualify automatically.