Italy’s Alberto Simonelli will look to win his second world title, and the first in 17 years, after defeating Great Britain’s defending champion John Stubbs in the compound men’s open semis at the in World Archery Para Championships on Thursday (27 August) in Donaueschingen, Germany.
Simonelli’s victory sets up a meeting with South Korea’s Lee Ouk Soo in the gold-medal match.
Simonelli, who last captured a world title in 1998, won 148-145 and will face 19th-seed Soo, who defeated Australia’s Jonathon Milne 148-140 in the other semi-final.
Milne turned out to be a surprise to many, as his consistent shooting helped him upset Finland’s Paralympic champion Jere Forsberg.
“I did not expect to come here and do so well,” Milne said. “All I did was do what my coach told me in Australia and it seemed to work. I was very happy with my performance [on Thursday].”
Milne and the Australian team self-funded their trip to the event in Germany.
“The whole team has paid for themselves to be here and it [my achievement] does make it worthwhile,” Milne said. “Now I have done even better than I expected. I hope it raises the profile of para archery in Australia and we get some funding because of it.”
Milne also defeated France’s Eric Pereira in the quarterfinals, but faces 2013 world champion Stubbs of Great Britain for the bronze. Stubbs narrowly defeated both Turkey’s Bulent Korkmaz and Iran’s Hadi Nori before losing to top seed Simonelli.
“Stubbs is very consistent and shoots very high scores,” Milne said. “I am just going to come out and try to shoot my very best.”
The Donaueschingen 2015 World Archery Para Championships act as the primary qualifying tournament for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Places are available in both the mixed team competition and individual events.
Each top-four (semi-finalist) mixed team wins two places – one men’s and one women’s – for their nation to attend the Paralympics. Further places will be available to top individual finishers.
For a country-by-country breakdown of which nations won places, visit World Archery’s website. Complete results of Donaueschingen 2015 can also be found on World Archery’s website.
Day three recap
Day two recap
Day one recap