/By Alan Callister/
At what seemed like an hour when most people were heading for their beds, 3 of Team Ireland started the journey to Terni – Italy, for the World 3D Championships. We would be joined later in the day by others, with the final 2 arriving the following evening.
In preparation for the journey, we had sought agreement from DAA, Aer Lingus and the baggage handlers that we were clear to transport our bows on the flight. This paid off as we were rushed through baggage drop off and security to our awaiting plane.
Its worth mentioning at this point, that I had installed an Apple AirTag inside my checked in bow tube as an experiment.
Upon arriving in Rome, we had a frustrating wait for the bow tube to be returned (hence the AirTag), we knew it was in the terminal building, but could not locate it. We were waiting at carousel 12, it eventually arrived at carousel 9! Thanks to the Airtag, which also proved its worth locating same tube in Dublin Airport coming home.
Anyway, after departing the airport on the bus, and travelling for approximately 20 mins, imagine our surprise to find ourselves back at the airport, the driver hadn’t collected the Canadian team!!!
We were staying in Downtown Terni, with team USA, Croatia, Germany and Estonia, other teams were in hotels scattered around the town, some close, some way out in the sticks.
The first thing that hits you about Italy at that time of year is the heat, 34 degrees C. we always seemed to be covered in sweat.
Accreditation done, we were bussed (we had to catch buses everywhere, although they were all laid on by the organising committee) out to the athletes village and practice field located just past the walled town of Stroncone, a trip which took 30mins. The athletes village was impressive as it was a purpose built structure specifically for this event, in a dried up lake bed. At this point most other countries were present, and it was so enjoyable meeting up with friends from other countries that one hadn’t seen since the European Championships the year previous.
The first day of competition saw us split off to go to our specific course for the day. There were 3 courses, Red, Blue and Yellow, I started on the Blue course, with other male longbow archers as well as the male Traditional archers.
To say the blue course was insane, is an understatement, within 3 targets shooting, an archer needed to be ambulanced off the course, and by the end of day 1 some had decided that they were not going back!!!
I wasn’t that happy with my shooting as I have diagnosed “Target Panic”, and am currently undergoing exercises to overcome it.
Day 2 saw us move courses, I went to the red course, and was in a team made up from Mexico and Uruguay, 2 of the nicest chaps you could shoot with and we thoroughly enjoyed the round.
ts worth mentioning at this point, the heat was still hovering around 34 degrees, and the organisers had set up water stations every 6 targets. I was taking on board 6-8 litres of water per day, and it was only coming out through sweat.
That summed up my progression in the competition, as I hadn’t attained the necessary score to go for eliminations, in fact, only 1 member of team Ireland, Orla O’Connor, made it through to the eliminations, so we all got behind her to cheer her onwards.
Wednesday saw us taking a trip to the site of the 2015 world 3D championships, with a man made waterfall which can be turned on an off by the flick of a switch, it provided a beautiful cooling spray, that everyone enjoyed!
Now, you may remember earlier, I stated that the athletes village was located in a dried up lake, well, on the Thursday afternoon, nature decided that it was going to form the lake again, and provided one of the heaviest rain storms I have ever seen, so much so, that the village was flooded! This meant that the next element of the competition had to be re-located back to the Terni Archery club.
Finals Days saw us relocated yet again (this time by design) to a site (Carsulae. An interesting and unique archaeological site, situated between Terni and Sangemini, which has not yet been fully excavated and is not well-known to most tourists. This provided a spectacular setting for a World Championship finals day.
The final evening was the Gala dinner, which was in essence a walking dinner through the walled town of Stroncone, where the locals had dressed in period attire and were going about day to day tasks as if we were not there. The archers walked (streets were too narrow for vehicles) from venue to venue where we were served appitisers, main courses, desertx etc in a lively and vibrant atmosphere, made even better by the glorious Italian evening. It was at this point where friend requests were made between archers to keep in touch, photos swapped and promises were made to meet up again either outside of archery or at various competitions in the coming year.
Tips for travelling to Italy:
Bug spray (I was eaten alive by the carnivorous flying bugs)
Don’t go if you don’t like pasta, pizza or coffee (they serve the best!)
If you enjoy the heat at that time of year, go for it and enjoy.
Team Ireland were:
Jane Ward: Women Longbow
Orla O’Connor, Sharon O’Connor: Women Barebow
Alan Callister: Men Longbow
Steven Wall-Morris: Men Traditional
Alan O’Connor, Alan Convery, Darrell Wilson: Men Compound