KEREMEOS - A Similkameen woman was the highest placing North American in her category at an international archery competition in France, and has already set her sights on the next one in 2019.
Miranda Sparkes, 24, of Keremeos returned home from Robion, France last week after competing in the 2017 World Archery Championships held Sept. 19 to Sept. 23. Her coach Brock Paton of Osoyoos also made the trip for the competition.
Sparkes was eliminated the second day of the event, but was still the highest placing North American in the woman’s longbow category. She placed 21st overall in the competition, gaining some valuable experience in world archery competition as she begins preparing for the next world championship.
The trip got off to a rough start when Air France lost Sparkes' and Paton’s luggage, including their bows and arrows.
“I was a little stressed to start the trip,” she says. Fortunately they recovered their belongings the following day.
She says the competition was an eye-opener.
“The competitive level was a step-up and then some, above what I’ve experienced in Canada,” she says. "The courses were far more difficult, with targets placed against rock walls, lots of up and down shots and generally smaller targets.”
On the plus side, she says everyone was super friendly.
“It was really fun, cool to talk to archers from other countries," she says.
The archery world championships take place every second year, and Sparkes says she has returned from France highly motivated for the next world championship to be held in Lac La Biche, Alta. in 2019.
"I’m really going to get into archery in the next two years,” she says, adding she is aiming for a top ten finish on home turf.
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