Midway through 2016, Lawrence Salvestro set himself a goal – to qualify for the 2017 World Youth Archery Championships in Argentina in October.
“I had a fair amount of good scores come out of nowhere that I started shooting and I just thought ‘I may was well go for this, I feel like I can do it’,” Salvestro said.
Fast forward eight months and Salvestro is just one qualifying score away from achieving his goal.
Having shot two of the minimum qualification scores – of 680 out of 720 – at qualifying rounds across the state, the 15-year-old will be out to claim a spot on the Australian team at a qualifier in Griffith this weekend.
“I’m much more comfortable here and it’s a lot easier to shoot better scores,” Salvestro said.
The archer heads into the event brimming with confidence.
Salvestro’s most recent outing was in the men’s open compound at the Australian Open in Queensland last weekend.
The Australian Open attracts some of the country’s top archers and Salvestro was entered to test himself against the best.
The ranking round saw the junior shoot a personal best to rank him 13th before he was approached to take part in the team event.
Salvestro and his team claimed fourth place and buoyed by the outing, he hit the ground running the next day.
Following a first round bye, the Griffith shooter edged out Victorian state open team shooter Brendan Jones in a tiebreaker before toppling pro staff shooter Justin Olexienko 139-132.
The quarter final saw Salvestro come up against World Cup shooter Scott Brice.
Brice was too good on the day and Salvestro claimed fifth place – not bad for someone who was the youngest competitor by six years.
“That was my first time ever [in an open event] and I ended up fifth overall which I’m pretty happy about,” he said.
“I was just aiming to get a good experience [in preparation] for Argentina and try and learn as much I can from all the experienced guys.
“I didn’t really see it as daunting, I just looked at them as another person in the way of where I wanted to be.”
The shoot in Griffith on the weekend is Salvestro’s next immediate event but another event the archers has his eye on is the 2017 National Youth Archery Championships.
That event takes place in Morwell in April where Australian selectors will keep an eye on the archers.
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