Paeglis on target for success at Buenos Aires
14 August 2018
BUENOS AIRES: It all started with a movie – then Laura Paeglis became Australia’s sole female archer for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
Paeglis makes up half of Australia’s archery quota for the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games, something her grandfather predicted when she first picked up a bow at 10 years of age.
“My archery journey started when I was 10 years old. I saw the movie ‘Brave’ and felt so inspired that I decided I wanted to give archery a go,” the now 16-year-old said.
“My grandpa took me to my first ‘come and try’ day and bought me my first bow. I remember him telling me back then, that one day I could go to the Olympics!
“I didn’t take him very seriously, as it didn’t seem very realistic at the time, but now I am on my way to the Youth Olympic Games.”
Paeglis will be joined by Jason Hurnall, who in four separate disciplines, took out the 2017 Junior National Championships along with the current Ocenia Championship and Trans Tasman Championship.
The process for Paeglis to earn her spot at YOG began last year.
“I had to earn my place in the Australian squad by competing in the Junior World Championships in Argentina in October of last year. At the Continental Qualification Tournament, I managed to earn Archery Australia a spot at YOG, which has been my proudest achievement of my career so far,” said the Victorian.
“But this was only the start of the selection process, as while Australia had now secured a position at the Games, the next challenge was for me to earn my position on the team.
“Over a three-month period, the best cadet archers in Australia submitted their highest scores, in order to participate in the final selection trial in June.
“The four highest-ranked girls then participated in a two-day shoot-off event, with the winner earning the nomination for a place at YOG.”
The high-school student said that although the YOG qualification process was “without a doubt the most pressure I’ve ever experienced at any event,” being able to draw from the support of those around her is her greatest strength.
“I was very fortunate to be granted a scholarship with the Victorian Institute of Sport’s future talent program. This has given me access to great facilities and awesome people who help me with strength, fitness, sports psychology, diet and life balance. It’s also an added bonus to be able to hang out at a place full of such talented athletes,” Paeglis said.
“I’ve also been lucky enough to have spent a lot of time with our National Coach, Ya Ping Shih who has greatly improved my technique – something we are still working on.
“My coach in Buenos Aires will be three-time Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist, Matt Gray. Having someone with Matt’s experience to talk to and to help me is fantastic.”
In the lead up to YOG, Paeglis will be focusing on her mental game, just as much as her physical game.
“Between now and October I will be working very hard on my strength and technique, but most importantly, archery is about your mental approach and ability to handle pressure,” she said.
“YOG will be very exciting and like nothing I have ever experienced before, so I will be spending a lot of time between now and then practicing role playing scenarios and keeping my form under high-pressure situations. This will help to make sure I am able to shoot to the best of my ability in any situation and most importantly, at YOG.”
You can learn more about the team HERE