During the first of three evenings of World Archery events, the Athlete of 2014 awards were announced at an inaugural gala held on the first day of Las Vegas.
Throughout December and January, members of the public were invited to vote for their favourite athletes of the last year, submit their photographs into an image contest and nominate exceptional individuals for voluntary work done to advance archery at any level.
Coupled with a poll of an expert panel that included World Archery President Prof Dr Ugur ERDENER, members of the World Archery Executive Board and World Archery Olympic Games Development Director Juan Carlos HOLGADO, the combined results decided the awards presented in Las Vegas.
Both compound trophies went to two archers who have proven their longevity on the international archery circuit: Erika JONES had the compound women’s award while the world number one compound man, PJ DELOCHE from France, took the men’s.
JONES won the Indoor World Cup last season and came second at the Archery World Cup Final; DELOCHE also took silver in Lausanne.
The pair beat out World Cup Final winners Sara LOPEZ (COL) and Bridger DEATON (USA), respectively.
For DELOCHE the award was particularly special: the day of the ceremony happened to be his birthday.
Aida ROMAN won the indoor worlds and the Archery World Cup Final in 2014. The Olympic silver medallist was well ahead of JUNG Dasomi (KOR) and Germany’s Lisa UNRUH in the recurve women’s Athlete of the Year voting.
In the title decided by the narrowest vote margin of the evening, reigning World Cup Final Champion Brady ELLISON beat out young Brazilian Marcus DALMEIDA to the recurve men’s award. As good as a season DALMEIDA has had, it’s hard to argue against a man who’s just made history by becoming the first person to win the World Cup circuit three times.
Brady took to the rostrum after accepting his award to thank everyone who voted for him, congratulate the other winners and encourage everyone to shoot well during the rest of The Vegas Shoot.
While Marcus missed out on the recurve men’s Athlete of the Year title, he was a lock for the Newcomer of the Year award.
After becoming the youngest ever World Cup finalist and then collecting the silver medal in Lausanne – to pair with his second place from the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing – his first full international season was mightily successful.
He beat out Frenchman Pierre PLIHON, who had silver at his first international event (Shanghai 2014), and double-gold medallist at Nanjing LI Jiaman (CHN).
Marcus was not present in Las Vegas but sent a video message expressing his gratitude for the award.
LEE Mi Joung, the Korean coach of Mexico’s Aida ROMAN, who has enjoyed a resurgent 2014 two years after her London 2012 silver, collected the Coach of the Year gong.
Geoff WEEKS’ image of the a target reflecting in a water droplet won the photograph competition while Teddy BETTEX of Switzerland was named Volunteer of the Year.
Teddy has long been involved in Swiss archery, from grass roots level up to the governance of the federation. In 2014, he also actively volunteered at the Nottwil European Para Championships and the Archery World Cup Final.
• Brady ELLISON (USA) – 27% (WINNER)
• Marcus D’ALMEIDA (BRA) – 24%
• LEE Seungyun (KOR) – 21%
• Rick VAN DER VEN (NED) – 18%
• Mauro NESPOLI (ITA) – 10%
• Aida ROMAN (MEX) – 37% (WINNER)
• JUNG Dasomi (KOR) – 25%
• Lisa UNRUH (GER) – 15%
• LI Jiaman (CHN) – 14%
• Deepika KUMARI (IND) – 9%
• PJ DELOCHE (FRA) – 26% (WINNER)
• Jesse BROADWATER (USA) – 23%
• Mike SCHLOESSER (NED) – 21%
• Bridger DEATON (USA) – 18%
• Esmaeil EBADI (IRI) – 12%
• Erika JONES (USA) – 31% (WINNER)
• Sara LOPEZ (COL) – 25%
• CHOI Bomin (KOR) – 20%
• Toja CERNE (SLO) – 13%
• Cansu Ecen COSKUN (TUR) – 11%
Newcomer (top three)
• Marcus D’ALMEIDA (BRA) – 43% (WINNER)
• Pierre PLIHON (FRA) – 20%
• LI Jiaman (CHN) – 18%
Coach (top three)
• LEE Mi Joung (KOR) – 31% (WINNER)
• Evandro DE EZEVEDO (BRA) – 29%
• Natalia BUTUSOVA (GER) – 24%
Watch the World Archery Gala on Archery TV.
(Article from World Archery website)