The sixth annual Fazza Para Archery World Ranking Tournament is organised by the Dubai Club for People of Determination from 17 to 21 February in Dubai. This season, which will end with the Paralympics in Tokyo, has seen record attendance. This is the first and also the last preparatory tournament before the European Championships, to be held in Olbia, Italy, in April, and then in Nové Město nad Metují, where the remaining nomination spots will be awarded.
For Tereza Brandtlová, competing in the W1 category with a compound bow (with an extensive disability in the torso muscles, lower limbs and upper limbs), this is just her second season on the para archery scene; even so, she would like to follow up on the success she enjoyed last season: “We’re heading off to Dubai early, as we have the chance to train outside. So far I’ve been preparing in “ideal conditions,” she laughs, “but now we’re adding wind, sun, and cold weather.”
In order to fight for the nomination spot for Tokyo 2020 she quit the hall season, where the archers shoot over 18, rather than 50 metres: “It was very important to me; I just went to the contest in Berlin, where I tried out all the changes to see whether we were taking the right direction. It proved that we were, so we focused on the finer details. There’s always a reserve, but we’ve definitely made a lot of progress.”
These are the first contests involving changes that she has not encountered before in her short career so far: the shift in time zones, the transition from the cold to warmth, but she knows she has to cope with it: “I want to finish as high as possible and certainly improve on my personal best. It’s important to me to go there earlier, to give me time to prepare. Most of all I’m looking forward to the contests as a whole, as it’s a great atmosphere, great people, but I’m also eager about those parts where you can sense the nerves, even though those fade after a while. All of it makes for an amazing experience.”
The tournament lasts for five days, starting on 17 February with the opening ceremony and the official training; the next day our Czech hope will compete in the qualifiers, which will decide her opponent for the next round. There are also team competitions scheduled, which should, according to the information available so far, involve mixed nationalities. This is a Dubai special. However, the final announcement is not the end of her stay in Dubai: “We’ve arranged with the Dubai organisation to continue with the training camp, so I won't be coming back until the end of the month. We’ll then continue training in the hall and with a meet at Nymburk Sports Centre, where we’ll just be working on those finest details.”
Fingers crossed for Tereza from the whole STATECH-mateco team!