Tuesday, December 19, 2017

2017 Indoor Barebow Championship - Part 3


The main event...

We got up at 4:45am and prepared ourselves for the journey to the convention centre. The plan was to pack our lunch.
I brought a cooler bag and three food containers for our lunch at the event venue. We have been warned about the lack of food outlets in the area, so we came prepared.
At 6:00am, we were still waiting at the lobby for the cafe to be opened. The Thais are very direct about this.
And to top it all up, we have to queue up with a bus load of Chinese tourists to get our meals. The day before, I told the hotel people that we are packing our breakfast. They agreed. What I found annoying was the fact that the tourists were rushing to get their meals. This is an issue around the globe concerning holiday makers from Mainland China.

Michelle didn't looked pleased about the meal-packing prospect...

On our way to the convention hall...
Once we had the foodstuff all settled, we hailed a cab that took us to Srinagarinda Road where the convention hall is located. We didn't really got caught in the Bangkok traffic and was early enough to reach the hall.
There, we met our Thai friends who also left their home early in order to beat the peak hour traffic.

With Apisit "Joeyboy" Opasiamlikit at the hall

The chief judge breifiing the participants

Samo and his lane mates Yuttana and Watchara
Michelle and I had set up our bows, we waited for further instructions before the qualifiers. At the shooting line, we were allowed two ends of practice before scoring.
I must say that I was very impressed with the "live" scores input with a smartphone. On each dedicated shooting lane, a scorepad was placed together with a smartphone. One guy keyed-in the scores that goes live on the internet while the other scribbles down the paper score sheet. The guys at home would get a live-feed on what went down at the tournament.
As soon as the buzzer was hit, we went to the waiting line, then the moment came when we have two minutes to empty our quivers.
For the qualifying rounds, we had to send 60 arrows downrange. Our total scores will be tabulated at the end to determine the best 16 archers for the elimination rounds.

A worthwhile experience...

During the first round, I engaged and connected with my first end. Down to the third end, I started to faulter. Sending an arrow to the blue, black and white. This was costly and it really hurt my overall score on the first round. From end number four onwards, I rebounded with my best shot at end number eight with two bullseye and an inner red, bringing the score to 28 points. The total score on round 1 was 206 points.

Getting ready to engage and connect
The second round is a "make or break" round. At this point, its all about mental strength and endurance. 
Yuttana, my lane mate scored 244/300 during the first round. He is one of the top barebow archers in Thailand alongside Watchara and Col Supin Smitskerin who won the Thailand Princess Cup in June.
I had a good start in the second round until the fifth end. My form collapsed and I managed to collect only 11 out of 30 points. From there, I slowly recovered and ended up the game with 201/300. 
This mirrors my training scores at the range and also topped what I scored at the Princess Cup qualifiers.
At the end of round 2, I scored 406/600 and was ranked 32 out of 46 archers in the game. 
The lead archers in my lane Watchara scored 515/600, ranked 4th and Yuttana came in at 7th with 504/600.
Michelle did very well in the tournament with 440/600, ranked 21. Out of six Malaysians who took part in the barebow open, three went to the elimination rounds.

Manual scoring

The best archers in Thailand versus the Chinese 

Scoring time

Michelle's group at the target bud
Michelle did very well at the tournament
Last man standing...

As soon as the game was over, the results came out. We saw our rankings and was glad that we didn't do badly. I pretty much improved my scores and Michelle is now one of the best archers in our team.
While waiting for the elimination rounds, we found a place at the back of the hall to have our packed lunch.
It gave me a moment to reflect on what to do when I get back and how to improve my form and consistency.

After the game

With a fellow barebow archer from Greece
Three Malaysians, Suhari Ariffin, Rifai Badawi and Fadzli Samsor have made it to the knockout rounds.
Suhari went down to the top guy in the tournament while Rifai was taken out by his fellow countryman Fadzli.
From how they squared-off, it was obvious that Fadzli allowed the game to advance to a shoot-off.
Fadzli was the better archer and made it all the way to the finals and squared-off with Liang Chao Jun from China. Liang was ranked 11th while Fadzli was ranked 8th in the qualifiers. This was an exciting game to watch as a few upsets was created during the Olympic rounds.

Fadzli squaring off with Liang at the finals

Liang (left) took gold, with Fadzli earning a silver medal while Zhoe Che took bronze
The finals was a game of the underdogs. With the favourites culled, it was an exciting finals. Both Liang and Fadzli fought toe-to-toe until they tied 5-5. A shoot-off decided who will return home with the gold medal. And Liang proved that he was a better archer. Fadzli had to contend with silver while Zhou Che, who was very strong right from the beginning, ended up at the third place.
For a first-timer, Fadzli did Malaysia proud. This is the man to watch in the local barebow scene as well as regional events. His dream is to make it to the Lancaster Archery Classics in Pennsylvania.

Conclusion

The pricey Indoor Barebow Championship is a worthwhile experience if you want to dabble into professional barebow tournaments. It's perhaps one of the best organized events of such nature in Southeast Asia.
To get to the shooting line and do well, you have to be good at what you do, minimalize your mistakes and stay focussed. 
For me, it was an eye-opener. I made many new friends and connected with familiar faces from the Land of Smiles. At the end of the game, the Thai archers were already asking us if we are going for the Thailand Princess Cup 2018. Without hesitation, our answer was "Yes".

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