Croatia’s Domagoj Buden shot three perfect arrows on the last target to record a come-from-behind final win and defeat reigning world champion Mike Schloesser to compound men’s gold at the 2019 European Field Archery Championships in Mokrice, Slovenia.
“It means a lot as field is the discipline that has been closest to my heart since I started archery,” said Buden. “The final was just amazing. Shooting against a great friend and an incredible archer in the European championship final was the goal for the week and I actually just loved every minute of it.”
Domagoj, the defending European champion, ranked first over qualification with 837 points and looked strong in a 67-63 semifinal win over Adrien Gontier.
But a slow start in the gold medal match had Buden three points back on a perfect Schloesser after two targets. The world number one dropped his first two points of the match on the third target – but still had a lead, of two, arriving at the last.
Mike put his first arrow on the long, slightly downhill shot in the six. His second went high in the four and his third just above the middle in the five.
Buden needed three maximums to take gold and delivered.
“I definitely felt a lot of pressure coming into the tournament as reigning champion and trying to repeat the title,” he said. “The venue was absolutely beautiful for the whole week and the organisation was great.”
As well as Buden’s second European field title in a row, this was the second consecutive edition of the European Field Archery Championships to be held in Slovenia.
The host country had three gold medals at the tournament, courtesy Toja Ellison in the compound women’s competition, recurve junior men’s winner Ziga Ravnikar and the junior men’s team.
Italy led the combined junior-and-senior medal table (ahead of Slovenia) on five golds. Italian archers Eric Esposito, Cinzia Noziglia and Eleonora Meloni took individual titles – all in the barebow competitions.
World youth target champion Anders Faugstad won compound junior men’s gold in Mokrice.
The 2019 European Field Archery Championships took place on 29 September to 5 October in Mokrice, Slovenia.