STANDING on the shooting line with a group of New Zealand sports stars rallying behind made all the difference for Adam Kaluzny when he made an Olympic qualifying shot.
It had been 15 years since New Zealand archers made it to the Olympic games, but two weeks ago, the chances of it happening again increased.
The Southland Archery Club member joined 50 Kiwi athletes and 23 other nations in Apia, Samoa, a fortnight ago for the archery section of the Samoa 2019 Pacific Games.
Part of a mixed team, Mr Kaluzny competed with Christchurch’s AimTru Archery Club member Olivia Hodgson – both of them came home Olympic qualifiers for New Zealand.
“We were up against seven other countries, we were shooting against Vanuatu, then we faced Samoa and in the final we were shooting against a really strong team from Australia.”
The archery competitions were held from July 8-10 and included a ranking round, a match and a mixed-match-play on the final day.
By the final round against Australia on the Wednesday, the points were even, which meant the Olympic qualifiers would be decided by a shoot out, he said.
“Olivia was the best out of the women and I was the best male archer, so New Zealand took out both of the Olympic qualifier spots, it was quite a big deal.”
With a year to go before the Olympic Games, it was the perfect time to begin training in the hopes of being selected to go and represent New Zealand, he said.
“I’m committed to training even harder to be prepared for the next season, I’ll do my best and see how it goes. Anyone that is trying for the spot, I wish them well.”