Nathan Rowley has returned from Argentina after taking part in the World Archery Youth Championships which got off to a stormy start after an electrical storm flooded the venue and forced the cancellation of the opening ceremony.
When the competition got underway, Rowley showed his form early on coming to grips with the gusty conditions to shoot an impressive 690 out of 720 to finish seventh in the initial ranking round.
Day two saw Rowley and teammate Lawrence Salvestro combine with Victorian Hamish Thompson for the cadet compound, men teams event. After a disastrous start when a misfire sent Thompson’s arrow wide of the target.
The boys showed great sportsmanship and continued to shoot their best to finish within six points by the end of the match but to no avail as the hopes of a cadet men’s medal ended prematurely.
In the cadet compound, mixed teams saw Rowley paired with female number one Maddie McSwain. The Australian duo had an impressive victory over the Spanish team winning by five points before going down to Russia and finishing in a very credible fifth place overall.
After the duo competition finished, Rowley continued to make his way through elimination matches against India, Great Britain and then India again to make it into the quarter-final where he was the only Australian to do so.
Fighting weather, fatigue and nerves, Nathan fell to American number one Ethan Merrill in his semi-final progressing on to shoot for bronze against Mexico’s top archer Edgar Diaz.
Rowley’s sportsmanship and determination in the ensuing match saw him recover from a slow start to shoot eight consecutive 10s and come back into contention.
With the crowd on their feet and even the American team joining in with the traditional Aussie, Aussie, Aussie. It came down to the last arrow with Rowley needing a 10 to win. It wasn’t to be however with Rowley missing out by one point in a chance to tie the game.
The pressure and tension was evident on the young archer’s face as he came off the field and although disappointed he summed up it best. “Oh well. fourth in the world, not bad for a boy from the bush.”
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