Nearly 450 young athletes from 58 countries will go for honour and glory at the upcoming World Archery Youth Championships in Ogden, Utah (USA) from 12-19 July. And some of these gold diggers will even go for more, trying to qualify for the Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
The 2009 World Archery Youth Championships have been moved forward in the calendar precisely so that they can serve as the main qualifier for the first ever Youth Olympic Games. Therefore, some archers may have already gained experience and medals at the last world championships that were held in 2008 in Kundu-Antalya (TUR). These young competitors will certainly be among the favourites in Ogden.
In the recurve categories, the 2008 junior world champion Luca MELOTTO (ITA) and the 2009 junior indoor world champion Ivan DENIS (BEL) will battle again. The 2006 cadet world champion Ryan TYACK (AUS) will be there as well. One should also watch Thomas BARBER (GBR), Atanu DAS (IND), and of course the 2008 cadet silver medallist KIM Joo-Wan (KOR) and the entire Korean team. On the women's side, the very young Olympian Mariana AVITIA (MEX) is still a cadet and will be among the favourites! She will have Tatiana SEGINA (RUS) and Lidia SICHENIKOVA (UKR) as tough opponents.
In the compound division, the Americans will be the odds-on favourites. On the female side, Kendal NICELY, Samantha PRUITTE and Kailey JOHNSTON (USA) are back for more medals. The 2009 junior indoor world champion Svetlana CHERKASHNEVA (RUS) will be there as well. On the men’s side, the 2008 junior world champion M. J. KROGSHEDE (DEN) will dearly defend his title. Among the other favourites are Luca DI BENEDETTO (ITA), Yiftach SWERY (NZL), Kevin BURRI (SUI) and Ben CLELAND (USA). The latter already shot more than 1400 points in a FITA Round recently!
All these youngsters will compete across 16 events. There are the juniors and the cadets in both men and women and in both individuals and teams. Moreover, about 140 of them will compete in the Youth Olympic Games qualifier on 17 July.
Ogden could be the start of a great career for some of these young archers!
photos Janos Schmidt