Already a multi-time Canadian and B.C. archery champion, Cariboo Archer Al Campsall can now stake claim to the title of world champion.
Campsall joined 400 archers from more than 50 countries in Lausanne, Switzerland last week where he shot to a gold medal in field archery at the World Masters Championships.
“It was a mountainous and very technically challenging course,” Campsall said. “However, since one half of the course involved ascertaining the actual distance to the targets, my experience in 3D really helped me to know at which distance to set my sights for each shot.”
Campsall said it’s something he practices rigorously most weekends and good weather days up at the Williams Lake Sportsmen’s Association’s Bond Lake Road facility, as well as in the woods nearby.
“This was my first ever world championship gold medal,” he said. “I have shot for Team Canada at the past four World 3D Championships (in Austria, Italy twice and France) against men mostly 30 or more years my junior. This was the first time I competed against men my own age on the world stage.”
Campsall’s achievements and accolades in the sport are astounding.
He has now won 21 Canadian and 25 BC Archery Championships, on top of his most recent world title.
“Winning the World Championship gold medal has to be the most satisfying of all the championships I have been fortunate enough to win,” he said. “The whole experience was very exciting and exhilarating.”
At the world championships in Switzerland, Campsall also posted strong results in both the outdoor target championships and the indoor championships.
Day two of the event saw Campsall shooting in the outdoor target championships at 50 metres.
“After the first 72 arrows we entered playdowns,” he said, adding he received a bye in the first five-end 15 arrow playdown, then won his next playdown by defeating an Israeli competitor, 135-134, but lost the playdown to see who shot for gold or silver by one point to an archer from Switzerland.
“Finally [I] lost the bronze medal by one point to an Australian,” he said. “This all took eight hours in the blazing sun – very exhausting day.”
On the final day, Campsall shot for eight hours indoor and finished in seventh place.
“I had injured my draw arm tricep muscle during the outdoor finals and had to turn my bow down considerably to shoot it,” he said. “This rendered the spine (relative arrow stiffness) far too stiff so that it compromised arrow flight. However, on my very best day, I would not have beaten the gold medal winner from France. I was quite satisfied with seventh.
“The whole competition experience was very exciting and exhilarating,” he said.
“I am excited to compete again.”