Moldova’s Alexandra Mirca and Dan Olaru earned their country a first gold medal match in the Archery World Cup as they qualified for Sunday’s recurve mixed team final in Berlin against top seeds South Korea.
The Moldovan pair beat Italy’s Elena Tonetta and Mauro Nespoli, individual gold medallist at the recent Minsk 2019 European Games, 5-1 in the fourth stage of the World Archery flagship circuit being held at Maifield, close to the 1936 Olympic Stadium.
In windy conditions that have challenged competitors all week, Mirca and Olaru took a 36-35 lead in the first set and two sets of 34 proved enough to see them through.
“It was hard because it was windy and we needed to shoot in between the six and 10, but it was the same for everyone,” said Mirca.
“This is the first time we are going for gold, so we are just happy.”
Moldova had beaten third seeds China 5-1 and then host nation Germany 6-2 to make the semi-finals.
Their final opponents are An San and London 2012 Olympic champion Oh Jin-hyek, who beat Croatia, Turkey and India to make their second recurve mixed team final of the World Cup season, which will conclude with the World Cup Final in Moscow from September 6 to 7.
Meanwhile, Britain’s 19-year-old Ella Gibson, who has already booked a gold medal match in the women’s compound team event tomorrow, will also contest the mixed team final alongside James Mason.
“We shot really well in difficult conditions,” said Gibson, who is also part of Britain’s women’s team with Susan Corless and Sarah Moon.
“And worked really well as a team, considering we hadn’t really shot together (before).”
The British duo upset top-seeded Colombia in a shoot-off in the quarter-finals and then despatched Italy, featuring multiple mixed team world champion Marcella Tonioli, in the semi-finals, 148-145.
This is Mason’s first medal on the international circuit.
He and Gibson will face Slovenia in the final.