Published: 25 May 2021
The Australian Open, the biggest national archery tournament, took place at Sydney Olympic Park over 4 days, hosting over 150 archers from around the country which included world class Olympic medallists. The tournament format consisted of a ranking round (shot on on Friday) where all archers were then ranked for knockout match-play. Matchplay included individuals, gender teams and mixed team events.
After day one ranking rounds, the club resulted in: Open Male Recurve Peter Boukouvalas (EAP) ranked 4th Brian Lim (Club President) ranked 30th Eduardo Delos Reyes (Ex-Club President) ranked 35th Jean-Luc Dimech (Club Vice President) ranked 46th Open Female Recurve Leah Ramchandani ranked 25th Open Male Barebow Eric Hu (Head Coach) ranked 7th Steven Pham ranked 23rd Open Female Barebow Kathryn Kiefhaber ranked 4th Emma-Lucille Blayney ranked 8th Cristen George ranked 9th
The elimination matches that followed were a combination of big upsets and nail biting finishes. Brian Lim, the SUAC President at the time, and Eduardo Delos Reyes, a previous SUAC President, found themselves in the ill-fated position of facing each other in the first round. Unfortunately, they weren't the only ones as several members of the team were to shoot against fellow team members in their first round of individual matches. Much of the team was knocked out by the 2nd round of individual matches. However, Peter Boukouvalas managed to prevail and proceeded to the Gold Medal match where he managed to put 11 of his 12 arrows in the gold rings winning 6 to 2, claiming his place in Australian archery history as the first archer not on the Olympic team to win the Australian Open in 13 years. Read all about Peter's continuing journey to represent Australia in the Olympics here: https://susf.com.au/olympic-target-in-sight-for-sydney-university-archer/.
Photo by Daniel Odeshu
In the Mixed Teams Barebow, Head Coach Eric Hu teamed up with Kathryn Kiefhaber to make it through to the bronze medal match. After they tied the set score at 4-4, they brought it to a one arrow shoot-off where usually the closest arrow to the centre determined the winner. With Kathryn shooting a 7 (missing the 8 by only a centimetre) and Eric following with a dead centre X, they just missed out on beating the opposing team of 10 & 8 as team match shoot-offs are determined by combined score first, then closest arrow to the centre. The Female Barebow team (consisting of Emma-Lucille Blayney, Cristen George, and Kathryn Kiefhaber) proved to be the underdog team that managed to upset some of the greatest shooters in the country. Making it through to the Semi Finals, after 3 sets they were down 2-4 but managed to pull it back to bring the match to a shoot-off. The team prevailed to make it to the Gold Medal match. Heading into the final match nerves were tense as the opposing team had consistently dominated in all their matches. In the opening sets, Team SUAC found themselves down 0-2, but they kept their never and matched their oppnents point for point, drawing the following 2 sets to make it 2-4. Despite the opposing team only needing one more set point to take the gold medal, Team SUAC pulled out a clutch performance to bring to bring the match to a 4-4 tie, forcing a one arrow shoot-off. Unfortunately, Team SUAC's nerves and inexperience finally caught up to them and they lost the shoot off. Though that didn't stop them from being all smiles as they had still managed to claim a silver medal in a teams event at the Australian Open. An outright impressive performance in and of itself, made even more spectacular considering their relative inexperience. Be sure to keep your eyes on these archers as they continue in their archery journey!
To top off the biggest national archery tournament being held at the same location as the 2000 Olympic Games, the medals were also presented to archers on the very same podiums from the 2000 Olympic Games where Simon Fairweather won Australia's first Olympic gold medal in archery.
SUAC could not be more proud of the performance of our team members, and we look forward to returning to tournaments in the near future.