Stutzman led from start to finish saving his best for the final end. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: USA’s arm-less archer Matt Stutzman says he felt like being “on the top of world” after clinching his first individual Worlds title at the Dubai 2022 World Archery Para Championships.

Stutzman, the London 2012 Paralympic silver medallist, shot two perfect 10s and an X in the fourth end to win the individual compound men open final against another arm-less arch Gombozhapov Aleksandr from Russian Archery Federation 142-138. In fact, Stutzman led from start to finish saving his best for the final end.

The was definitely an “emotional win” for the USA archer just months after his early exit at the Tokyo 2020 Games. And he called the Dubai 2022 victory as “Amazing.” “I feel like I ‘m on the top of the world. This is by far the best tournament I’ve ever participated in in the history of my life,” he said.

New skills

It was in fact awe-inspiring moment for everyone including Majid Al Usaimi, Event Director, at the Dubai Club for People of Determination grounds with two arm-less archers shooting in a Worlds final. And Aleksandr said: “I was so excited to play against my hero, teacher today. I have no words to describe. Matches like these will definitely inspire many upcoming archers to learn new skills and technique,”

In the women’s final, RAF’s Tatiana Andrievskaia finally got her first individual Worlds title after silver in Beijing 2017 and ’s-Hertogenbosch 2019 defeating Italy’s Maria Andrea Virgilio 143-140.

It was a case of so near yet to far as the pair of Shyam Sundar Swami and Jyoti Baliyan narrowly missed out on their first ever Worlds title, squandering a two-end lead to go down 150-148 to RAF in the compound mixed team final.

Playing the first finals at the Dubai 2022 Championships, the pair started on a strong note leading the first two ends, with two Xs coming in the second end as the scores read 78-76 in the halfway stage.

However, the RAF archers of Bair Shigaev, Paralympic bronze medallist, and Tatiana Andrievskaia put up a steadier performance in the third end, which had three 9s and a 10, to equal the scores at 113-all.

'Special feeling'

“When I saw the podium going into the final match, it gave me a special feeling. I was in my top form and confident of getting that Gold. We shot with precision but in the end, we faltered. It was a gust of wind where he missed out. But that’s what the sport is about; just one bad shot and it is over. But this medal is a big motivation for the entire team,” said Shyam Sundar.

For Jyoti, it was a heart break. “We were so close. All my focus was on winning the gold.”

In other final matches, Iran took the men’s doubles gold defeating Australia 145-143. Turkey took the first medal at the Championships winning the women’s doubles gold 150-149 over RAF.