Wian Roux flinched on his penultimate arrow, let his bow down, redrew and – with his time on the clock quickly ticking away – managed a nine before, moments later, finishing with a determined 10 to win the recurve men’s title at the African Championships.
The victory was perhaps all the more special because the event was being held in his home city of Pretoria.
“I can’t describe how it finally feels to win a big event. The stage has you nervous, as every archer who has shot at a big event knows, the stage has you nervous and I’m just very happy that I could pull through at the last minute,” said the 20-year-old, who was a Youth Olympian at Buenos Aires 2018.
Wian beat Côte d’Ivoire’s Franck Eyeni in that match – the last of the event – over a topsy-turvy five sets.
Behind Roux in the coaching box was his father, former international compound archer Patrick, now the president of the national archery federation and instrumental in bringing this tournament to South Africa.
“We just spoke about how to win, no negative comments. He just kept telling me, ‘keep them in the middle, keep pulling and stay calm’,” said Wian, who also shot the winning arrow (another 10) in the recurve men’s team final.