TuksArcher to compete at two World Championships
Christian De Klerk, who studies sports science at UP, has been selected to represent South Africa in two world championships and a world cup tournament in the upcoming months. PDBY spoke to De Klerk to find out more about these tournaments.
At the moment, De Klerk and his teammates in the Men’s SA team are preparing for the world cup and the world championships at the same time. The world cup takes place in Antalya, Turkey from 20 to 26 May. After the world cup, the World Archery Championships takes place in S-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands from 10 to 16 June and following this the World Youth Championships takes place in Madrid, Spain from 19 to 25 August.
De Klerk explains that, “We get a specific qualifying period” in which they have to “get an average [score] over 697 through the qualifying period” and any competitions in that period count. Furthermore, he says that “They work out our averages with our four highest scores of the season, so if your average score is above 697, you qualify for team trials.” De Klerk is preparing with his teammates for these upcoming competitions by “training together at Tuks every night”. They usually, “shoot a ranking round and then later [they] shoot a bit of eliminations against each other.”
For De Klerk, mental strength as well as physical strength are equally important. He explains that, “your mental game has to be on point throughout the whole competition. If you make a bad shot you have to shake it off and move on to the next one.” He feels that if you are not mentally strong, you will make more “bad shots”. He also adds that, “Physically you need to be able to shoot [more than] two hundred arrows a day. If you’re not physically fit you won’t make it through a competition.” In a competition, to calm his nerves, he usually “takes [his] time between shots for [his] heart to calm down a bit. [He] then takes a few deep breaths before [he] draws [his] bow.”
De Klerk comments on balancing his studies and his sport by saying, “When I study I will study hard and when I’m shooting I will give my best every time. I try to finish all my assignments in the mornings before class and then after class I will go train with the team from 15:00 to about 19:00.” De Klerk’s main goal for the rest of 2019 is to “take last year’s results and improve on that. There is a lot of room for improvement. I’m focusing on giving my best and by doing that I know I will achieve the goals I set for myself.”