So I’ve made it to Rio. Been here less than 24 hours of this writing. I haven’t seen much yet, and there’s a lot to take in – this place is enormous – but with a bit of polish and paint, it’s going to be incredible.
So World Archery has selected the six nations to receive tripartite places for Rio; three men, three women. The Tripartite Commission awards places in 16 sports to nations, often developing or very geographically small countries, who have only sent a small athlete delegation to the last couple of summer Games, so to enhance the Olympics’ universality and make sure smaller nations get a chance to compete on the world stage.
I’m stoked to see that Areneo David, from the landlocked country of Malawi in southern Africa is on the list. David is the best archer developed by the extraordinary ‘Sally’ Park, who shot for Korea at the LA Olympics and has been been an archer, coach, and international judge ever since.
She was seized with missionary zeal a few years ago and decided it was her mission to bring Olympic sport to Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world. With sponsorship from a Korean bank , she managed to overcome severe logistical and educational difficulties to develop a series of archers.
Some other countries are waiting for confirmation, but a couple have been confirmed in external press, including the awesomely named Karma from Bhutan, who took two medals at the South Asian Games back in February. That’s her full name: Karma. They don’t go in for second names in Bhutan.
Due to the ranking and seeding system, tripartite archers often end up facing top level opposition. In London, the tripartite matches got some of the biggest cheers of all – the British love an underdog. I’m kinda hoping the Brazilian crowds do too.
The world’s media are finally starting to crank up their Olympic previews. In the UK, there’s an expensive and dramatic advert for the upcoming BBC coverage. TeamGB are getting the push from the home press. CNN have put together this interesting piece on how the Olympic Park will look.
The venues are apparently all ready to go. You can look inside quite a few of them with Google Street View. The parties are ready to go. To the relief of pretty much everyone, Usain Bolt, previously doubtful, has been confirmed for the Jamaican Olympic team.
There’s a general sense that things are going to work. The only black spot this week has been the ongoing row over Olympic golf, with now none of the four top golfers in the world taking part in the competition, mostly claiming it was due to the Zika virus. Unguarded comments by Rory McIlroy seem to have confirmed what a lot of people have suspected, that it might just not be that high up the priority list.
Most squads are still at their final training camps and are likely to arrive in Rio next week with their larger delegations – apart from India. India’s archers are at the forefront of the largest ever Indian delegation to any Games, and once again, Deepika Kumari is in the spotlight, although Laxmirani Madji seems to be getting some press too.
What else? Local news video piece about Jake Kaminski right here.
Interesting archery podium preview piece on some random sports blog here.
Patrick Huston has made a new video on the GBR training camp in Turkey. Stay safe out there:
A slightly overdue piece pointing out the prevalence of Korean coaches. From earlier this year, a piece on lead judge for Rio, Graham Potts.
Bored of Olympic recurve already? Over on the dark side, Crystal Gauvin has done an account of the World Field trials on her blog. She also did an interesting interview with The Archery Blogger a week back which is worth a read. Best of all, she just won GOLD at the US Nationals. Awesome!
OK. More soon. Bye!