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Hunt shoots his way to Long Bow world title

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“Some of the targets are also walk-ons,” said Hunt, “where you shoot one arrow and you move to the next until you have exhausted all four arrows.”

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South Africa has another world champion. Geoffrey Hunt (38) from Warrenton achieved the highest score, beating 450 competitors from around the world, in the 2018 World Field Archery Championships which was held at Potchefstroom’s Elgro River Lodge from October 5-13.

Hunt, who farms near Warrenton on a full-time basis, emerged victorious in the Adult Male Long Bow division of the Championships. According to Hunt this discipline of archery is not different from the traditional wooden bow and arrow sport, but in this case the actual bow is around two metres tall, almost taller than the average competitor.

Hunt was crowned the world champion after he achieved a total of 1801 points; he explained that an archer shoots 112 arrows at 28 targets, four arrows per target, with the targets themselves placed at various distances ranging from 11 – 70 metres. Hitting the bull’s eye of the target is worth five points while the lowest score is on the outer circle worth three points.

“Some of the targets are also walk-ons,” said Hunt, “where you shoot one arrow and you move to the next until you have exhausted all four arrows.”

Hunt’s 1801 points secured him the gold medal, while Marek Peedumäe from Estonia (1714) placed second and Australian William Van Oosten (1478) placed third.

Hunt said he first tried his hand at archery way back in 2006 as an amateur; and later that year he entered a few organised competitions. He started competing seriously in 2011 when he started to compete as a professional.

The new world champion told the DFA that he has had no formal training and he learned everything about the sport by himself. While there is a recognised association of archers in South Africa (The South African National Archery Association) as well as internationally, the sport was not that big with locals, but overseas it is a serious sport.

Hunt said the win has emboldened him enough for him to consider taking part in the next internal bi-annual olympiade which will be in 2020 in Estonia. He was even thinking of the competition after that in 2022 even though the venue is yet to be decided by the international controlling body, he said.