Gunnedah Archer, Steve Jaeger has just returned from Hungary with a coveted World Title after competing in the International Field Archery Association 3D World Championships. The 3D World Championships which attracted a field of over five hundred archers were held in Sopron, Hungary. Jaeger, competing in the Freestyle Limited division won his first ever World Championship after four days of competition with Hungarian, Armand Herczog in second place and Ian Dean from England in third. Jaeger set up his win with a strong showing on the very first and second days. The Hungarian competitor and Jaeger returned the same score for the third round but with a good lead Jaeger was still in control. The fourth round turned into a tense affair with Jaeger not shooting as well as he struggled with equipment problems but showing plenty of mental toughness Jaeger covered his opponent all the way to claim the gold medal in a magnificent performance.
The quality of this win can not be underestimated with Jaeger on a limited travel schedule arriving in Venice, then travelling to Budapest with only two full days to overcome jet lag and acclimatise to the conditions before the tournament. The 300km trip from Budapest to Sopron was a memorable one with Jaeger travelling with his hosts in a Lamborghini sports car. The venue for the event was a Horse Sports complex with the range designers making excellent use of the surrounding Birch and Pine forest with a combination of steep uphill shots, targets placed in very dark areas of the forest and shots placed out in lush open meadows making shooting very difficult. To add to the challenge Jaeger had to quickly adapt to 3D targets he had never shot before and reacquaint himself with the IFAA rules of shoot which are different to those used in Australia. The language barrier was another challenge with Jaeger the only Australian at the event, fortunately all announcements for the tournament were delivered in three languages, Hungarian, German and English making things a little easier. The event was blessed with great weather over the four days with maximum temperatures of 24 degrees, the only blemish was an early morning fog on the last day of competition.
Hosts, Csaba Szamosvolgyi and Ference Csaszar showed plenty of local hospitality to Jaeger renewing a friendship which was established when they competed at the 2004 Australian Championships in Charleville. ‘Aussie Steve’ made a lasting impression in Sopron both on the ranges and the after shoot social activities. Winning the World 3D title has capped off an extraordinary year for Jaeger in which he won three Australian titles. Jaeger was also selected in the seven man Australian team to contest the World Field Archery Championships held in Hervey Bay in June in which he finished fourth in the individual event and won a silver medal in the teams event.
Getting to and from the event in Steve's hosts meager transport was no problem.
The practice butts, competitors had their choice of 3D target, butts or 3D pop up's.
There is always one at a shoot that needs a second look.
Steve taking aim on a beaver.
Yes Steve, we know you shoot with a feminine pink fletch.
Regardless of the colour of his flights Steve cleaned up the Freestyle Limited division by a considerable margin to take the honors and a world title.
As the only Aussie competitor and divisional winner things could only digress quickly.
Steve's host and overall winner.