Pilsen, Czech Republic – July 23, 2023
The World Archery Para Championships concluded this week with the Australian team showcasing an unprecedented performance. The team secured multiple medals and quota positions, marking the best result for an Australian Para Team.
Leading the charge was Christopher Davis, who emerged as the 2023 World Champion in the Men’s W1 category. Davis, a scholarship athlete at the Queensland Academy of Sport (QAS), faced stiff competition from Bahattin Hekimoglu (TUR). In a nerve-racking final, Davis dominated Hekimoglu from the first arrow and went on to take the match with a score of 131 to 127, making him Australia’s first ever World Champion in Para Archery.
Jonathon Milne, from the New South Wales Institute of Sport (NSWIS), showcased his mettle in the Compound Men’s Open category. He triumphed over Belgium’s Piotr Van Montagu by a tight margin of two points, with a final score of 145 to 143. Milne’s Bronze medal performance underscored the immense talent in Australia’s Para Archery team.
On his second attempt on challenging the world stage, Craig Newbery clinching a Silver medal in the VI category. Newbery, hailing from the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), fought hard against Italy’s Matteo Panariello. Despite the pressure, he delivered a strong performance to earn his place on the podium.
Ameera Lee, another scholarship athlete from NSWIS, marked her own achievement at the Championships. Although she did not reach the medal stand, Lee demonstrated her skill and determination by securing a quota position for Australia at the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games.
Reflecting on the team’s overall performance, Archery Australia’s High-Performance Manager, Graeme Rose stated, “This is a significant result for Para Archery in Australia. We should be proud of the performances of the entire team.” He went on to highlight Davis’s victory, expressing his pride and extending his congratulations to Davis, Newbery, Milne, and Lee.
Rhian Bird, the High-Performance Wellbeing Manager, was equally enthusiastic about the team’s dynamic and wellbeing overseas. She commented, “Seeing the group well represented in Australian colours in the finals stand vocally cheering on now World Champion, Chris Davis, was a reflection of how positive the dynamic among the team is.”
The Australian Para Archery team will have little time to bask in the success of their recent performances, with preparations already underway for future events. “We look forward to the continued growth of our Para Archery program as we focus on next year’s Paralympic Games qualification event in Dubai and then ultimately the 2024 Paris Paralympic Games,” the High-Performance Manager remarked.
Archery Australia also acknowledged the significant support received from its program partners, AIS, Paralympics Australia, NSW Institute of Sport, Victorian Institute of Sport, and Queensland Academy of Sport, attributing much of the growth of the Para Archery program to their support of the Archery Australia staff.
Followers of the sport can keep up with the latest developments and updates on the Archery Australia’s social media platforms, as the Para Archery team continues to aim for greater heights.