Canadian para archer Van Nest moves on from ranking round with confidence

Six-time Paralympian right on target

Canadian archer Karen Van Nest shoots an arrow during a Tokyo training session.
Karen Van Nest shoots an arrow during a training session in Tokyo. Courtesy Dave Holland/Canadian Paralympic Committee

Canada’s Karen Van Nest placed 11th in of the women’s individual compound open archery ranking round on Friday, qualifying her for the round of 16.

The six-time Paralympian scored 678 in 72 arrows, 35 of which were 10’s and nine were X’s — X’s represent the inner circle within the 10 point section, a more precise shot, and are used as tiebreakers.

Van Nest shot an overall great round, but her performance in the second half of competition was more exact, and Duncan Crawford, head coach of the Paralympic archery team, says that the pressure of the games was not a factor.

“In the biggest event of your life, it’s not easy to step up and shoot your best,” said Crawford. “Karen exhibited poise under pressure and was able to gain momentum throughout.

“The end result is right where we hoped to be. Karen is confident and ready for success in match play.”

Broken down into two halves, the competition lasts 12 ends with six arrows shot in each end. In the first half, the North Bay native didn’t shoot anything lower than an eight. However, in the second half, the Canadian shot all nines and tens, with seven X’s — five more than in the first six ends.

The Canadian archer takes note of her performance in the ranking round but feels confident moving into the elimination rounds.

“Despite an unsettled start, I’m happy with the result and looking forward to the next stage,” said Van Nest.

The ranking round consisted of very close play, with Van Nest only one point behind Turkey’s Sevgi Yorulmaz in 10th place and one point ahead of Iran’s Farzaneh Asgari in 12th place.

The veteran Paralympian’s score was just 16 points behind first place Jessica Stretton of Great Britain, who set a Paralympic record of 694.

A surprising outcome came for Jiamin Zhou, the defending gold medalist from Rio 2016, who placed 19th in the ranking round on Friday. Van Nest placed eight spots behind Zhou in the last Paralympic games.

The Canadian started Para archery in 2008, at the age of 46, and began competing in Paralympic archery in 2012. She first made her Paralympic debut as a pistol shooter, contesting at the 2000, 2004, and 2008 games, but switched to archery due to a right shoulder injury.

An all-around athlete, Van Nest has also competed in the 2004 and 2006 World Championships in para rowing, finishing in third place in Great Britain in 2006.

The only Canadian archer at the Tokyo Paralympic Games will take on Miho Nagano of Japan in the first round of elimination on Sunday at 9:34 a.m. JST, Saturday at 8:34 p.m. EST.

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Posted: Aug 27 2021 3:13 pm
Filed under: Archery Parasports Sports Tokyo Paralympics