2015 Australian Field Open

TIGHT FINISHES HIGHLIGHT FIRST AUSTRALIAN FIELD OPEN   As far as inaugural events go, the first ever Australian Archery Field Open in Victoria at the weekend was an outstanding success.   Strong fields, including international archers, close finishes, and one or two upsets highlighted a weekend in fluky weather conditions at Sherbrooke Archers.   Canberra barebow archer Michael Fisher brought the star appeal to the weekend, the bronze medalist from last year’s World Field Championships in Croatia leading throughout to secure the national title.   A total of 45 archers competed over the weekend, and while weather conditions were perfect for the event’s start, by Sunday athletes had to deal with showers and inconsistent winds.   Some of the archers reveled in the conditions, though, including Victoria’s Ros Greig, who started the day in fourth position but leap frogged the field to take gold in the women’s barebow.   It was a similar story in the women’s recurve, where another Victorian, Luana Geng, climbed from third to first to gain a very popular win for her home club.   NSW’s Diann Benson and New Zealand Victorian Fiona Guest had an interesting tussle in the women’s compound all weekend, with Benson holding a slender lead on the first two days, before Guest made her move on the final day to snatch gold.   Queensland’s Peter Stewart proved himself the master of the conditions in the compound men, rocketing from fourth to first to take top spot on the podium, but having to hold his nerve through a tense three-way shoot-out to take the honours.   The compound men’s competition was particularly tight all weekend, with only a handful of points separating the top half dozen athletes from start to finish.   One of the biggest turnarounds came in the men’s recurve, where Queensland’s Jarryd Greitschus went from a commanding lead after the opening day to finishing out of the placings on Sunday.   It was Victorian Ben Howell who held his nerve in the recurve to take gold.   “In six groups of finalists, there were five single arrow shoot-offs to get a result,” Sherbrooke Archers secretary, Damien Sinclair, said.   “Recurve men had a shoot-off for the gold, and a shoot-off for the bronze, while the compound men had a three-way shoot off for the gold.   “It was a very exciting and very entertaining way to end a great tournament.”   Sinclair said the athletes had appreciated the tricky course.   “Some specially constructed and relocated targets meant that even the local archers who were familiar with the field course were caught off guard and left scratching their heads,” Sinclair said.   “There were some very positive comments back to the organizing committee that they had constructed an exciting and challenging course.” RESULTS