Tokyo 2020: Hazel Chaisty through to quarterfinals
Hazel Chaisty made her Paralympic debut on the main field for the Women’s Individual Recurve at Yumenoshima Archery Field today.
Conditions were very different to last week’s ranking round with the hot and humid weather giving way to rain, light winds and temperatures of around 21C.
The wet morning had a distinctly British feel as Chaisty, the 12th seed, lined up against 21st seed Ieva Melle of Latvia for the start of eliminations.
Chaisty’s first arrow scored 2 with her losing the opening set but the rain affected both athletes with Melle opening with a 4 in the 2nd set.
After 5 sets the score was 7-3 to Chaisty meaning the Paralympics GB archer only had 20 minutes before heading into her 2nd round match against no. 5 Margarita Sidorenko of RPC.
Chaisty lost the 1st set again but won the 2nd before losing the 3rd and winning the 4th. A draw in the 5th after one of Chaisty’s arrows was upgraded saw the scores tied at 5-5 leading to a shoot off. Both hit a 9 but Chaisty was closest meaning she proceeded to the quarterfinals.
The Brit will face Vincenza Petrilli, the 4th seed, of Italy at 17:30 Tokyo time (09:30 BST).
Speaking after the morning’s shooting, Hazel Chaisty said: “The conditions are really changeable, the rain is up and down, I couldn’t quite find my flow at first, I was so nervous. This is what I’ve worked for, for seven and a half years, and the nerves got to me on that first match so I made it quite difficult for myself.
“The second match was easier. I thought that would be the harder match – Sidorenko’s a worthy opponent. That last arrow for the shoot-off, that was the easiest shot of the day so far. I know I’m good at shoot-offs so I found my nerve from somewhere and went for it.”
Talking about how the rain affects archery, she said: “Your finger tab that fits on the string is made out of leather so when that gets soggy it doesn’t roll as nicely and come off the string as nicely, your grip where your hand is on the bow can become slippy so I’m rubbing chalk on it to try to keep it dry and keeping a towel over it.
“The arrows in the air can be slowed down. Really heavy rain going to light rain can lift your arrows up and down quite a lot but we’ve shot in rain in GB forever so I think that gave me the edge!”