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Sjef van den Berg ready for first World Cup

Friday, April 20, 2018

The indoor season could not have gone any better for Sjef van den Berg. He was the best at the Lowlands Shootout, became Dutch champion and at the World Championships in Yankton (United States) he won gold, both individually and with the Dutch recurve team. Yet he still could not wait to go outside again and start the outdoor season. "Immediately after the World Championships I have put my bow on thin arrows and started training at 70 meters again. The outdoor season is still the best."” 

Photo: Dean Alberga 

On Saturday April 21 Sjef leaves for Shanghai (China), where the first Archery World Cup is scheduled from April 23 to April 29. Besides Sjef, the Dutch recurve team consists of Steve Wijler, Rick van der Ven and Jan van Tongeren. Mike Schloesser - like Sjef world champion in Yankton - leads the Dutch compound team in China, which further consists of Peter Elzinga and Sil Pater. The Dutch women's compound team is formed by Jody Vermeulen, Martine Couwenberg and Sanne de Laat. Sjef thinks that the Dutch recurve team is ready for the new season. "Three weeks ago we have been on a training camp in Turkey with amongst others Canada, England and Turkey, strong competitors that are also acting at a high level. Still the Dutch A and B team ended first and second in the competition.” 

Migraine and wrist injury

Sjef himself did not shoot during the training camp. "I have a lot of migraine problems. While sleeping I injured the ligament in my wrist and I suffered a few days from that. Fortunately, things are going well again right now.” During stage 1 of the Lowlands Shootout in Almere, an archery tournament in the Netherlands, Sjef was back at the start. Although he did not get further than a fifth place - Steve Wijler won the tournament - Sjef was satisfied with his own level. "The qualification went very well. I am very happy with that, also because I have been able to experiment a bit with weights on my stabilization. That was very good. This season I want to experiment a little more often with my material, because in 2019 everything has to be perfect.” Since Sjef got more and more headaches during the tournament he decided to slow down towards the finals. “I have finished the tournament, but that was it."” 

World Cup finals en European Championship

Despite the false start of the outdoor season, Sjef is confident for the first World Cup. "In Shanghai I hope to shoot as well as during the qualifications of the Lowlands Shootout, preferably even better. In the end I would like to go to the World Cup final, which is in Turkey this year. If I could get there anything is possible." His other goals this year are the Lowlands Shootout and the European Championship in Legnica (Poland). "I want to be good there as well. In 2012 we already became European champion as a team, which was in Amsterdam in my own country. That was crazy!"” 

In 2019 there is a big tournament in his own country again. From his parental home in Heeswijk-Dinther, the Parade in 's-Hertogenbosch, where the finals of the World Championship Archery 2019 are taking place, it is barely 15 kilometers. "I used to go to the city on my bike back in the days. I could even sleep at home, but I think we are in a hotel with the team. In any case, I can speak Dutch to everyone. I'm really looking forward to it."
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