The 12-ring has made its mark on the Lockdown Knockout.
Dutch archer Steve Wijler hit it twice during his quarterfinal against the reigning World Archery Champion and number-one-ranked recurve man in the world, Brady Ellison, as he booked his spot in the semifinals, 6-2.
“Just feels amazing. I’ve been practising a little on the 12 the last two trainings I did. I think I only hit 30% of it. So it’s pretty nice to hit it multiple times now,” he said.
“To be honest, I’m just so glad to be competing again. It’s just the thrill of competing. Brady is such an amazing shooter so it’s amazing to start against someone like him.”
This unique remote international tournament features a unique target face. It has one additional small white circle worth 12 points in between the eight and seven rings. Archers can choose to shoot it at any time but must declare their intention before drawing the bow.
Brady’s first arrow of the match hit a shaft-width high-left in the nine. Steve opened with three 10s. The US archer made his first attempt at the white spot with his third arrow – but ended up hitting a 10 instead.
Ellison shot three 10s in the second set. Wijler matched him to retain his lead.
The first time Steve hit the 12 was in the third set. Having dropped a nine with his first arrow, his last cracked Brady’s (normally perfect) three 10s to take two set points.
The second time Steve hit the 12, it was to match Brady’s 10-10-12 – he had hit the dot, too – and share the set points in the fourth.
It secured him the match and booked the reigning European Champion a place in the Lockdown Knockout semifinals.
“It’s mostly focus,” said Steve when asked afterwards how he was able to hit both of his attempts at the 12.
“The thing that I see is that in practice I’m not shooting that good as I am in competition. For me, it’s the thrill and the nerves of the competition that I need to perform well.”
Brady was effusive – and vocal in his appreciation – both times Steve hit the 12. Even if it meant he lost a set with 30 points and the match with 32.
“I think it’s good. We’re good enough to hit it. When you’re practising it, it seems a lot tougher. Then you get in a match and you need to hit it and it’s just kind of like a shoot-off,” he explained.
“We’re all very capable of hitting it and we’re all good enough to hit it, so like I said at the target I think we should just make an amendment and this should be out indoor finals target from now on.”
Wijler joins Gaby Bayardo and Aida Roman in the semifinals of the Lockdown Knockout.
Crispin Duenas and Bernardo Oliveira will contest the fourth and last available spot at 17h00 CET on Tuesday 16 June. The match will be streamed live across World Archery’s digital platforms.
The winner of the Lockdown Knockout will receive 1000 CHF and the runner-up 500 CHF in prize money.