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- 05. May 2007.

FITA Talks to 18 year old Archery Sensation Elena Tonetta from Italy

Interview with Elena Tonetta (ITA)
With a great part of talent and the relevant ambition, Elena Tonetta (ITA) is one of the top archers at only 18 years old. We have met with this young woman who has Olympic dreams.
Elena, you are only 18 years old and you already took part in the World Cup Final last year. When did you start archery?
My father is a coach and my brother was playing archery. I was watching them at the club but I didn’t like it too much at first. However, one coach of the club, Ruele Renzo motivated me and I gave it a try. I was nine year old.
You obviously have a lot of talent for archery. Did it show at the very beginning?
I guess so. Two weeks after I started shooting, I did a competition at the regional level. I finished 2nd. The year later, I won the Italian Championships versus girls who were 15 years old. I was only 10, back then. I joined the Junior Italian team at 12 and the senior team at 15.
Last year in Merida, you achieved 3rd place with the elite but you also finished 3rd at the Junior World Championships. Were you disappointed with the bronze to finish your junior career?
Well… yes. I was eliminated against a Korean archer in the semifinal. I actually never won an individual gold in junior. I did silver at the Indoor World Championships in Nimes 2003 but I also won three titles with the team.

How did it feel competing with the elite in the World Cup Final?
I was very excited. I didn’t put too much pressure on me and I was very happy with the bronze at this level.
Now we are at the Meteksan Archery World Cup Stage 2 in Varese, Italy. What do you expect « at home »?
Actually, I am not in top shape because I am preparing my exams to finish high school. I am studying computer science and accounting but I hope to switch later on to physical education. Anyway, I was shooting very well during the practice day and I hope to carry it over during the competition.
What is your long-term ambition?
Winning the gold at the Olympic Games! First I hope to qualify during the World Championships in Leipzig this summer. I will miss the Antalya World Cup because of my exams but I hope I’ll have enough training for Leipzig. Then, if everything goes well, I will take one year off school to prepare for the Games.
If you want to win the gold at the Olympics, you will have to beat the Koreans who have been unstoppable for the last 20 years. Do you think it is possible?
Of course! Korean archers have great coaches, superb skills and I guess they train hard. However, they are human beings and they can be beaten. It is just important to concentrate and to shoot at your best when you play against them.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
I think I have a good stance and good speed. I must become more consistent and improve the stability of my front shoulder. Actually, I aim better at 70 meters than at the lower distances, where I see too much « yellow ». I also practice more at 70 meters… Maybe at some point, I will go to Korea and learn their way of shooting (smiling).
Who is coaching you?
I actually have three personal coaches… Ruele Renzo has been coaching me since the beginning, and although he is now the coach of the Brazilian team, he still advises me whenever possible. Then I am lucky to beneficiate from the help of the physical trainer of the Inter Milan football team. I improve my strength going three days a week in the gym and running another day. Finally, my father is helping me to tune my material. Sometimes three coaches are a lot, but overall it goes well.
Have your parents always supported you?
Yes, very much. They come to most of the competitions in Europe (Denmark, France, and Germany).
Where do you come from?
I come from Mori, a town of 8'000 inhabitants. It is about one hour from the Austrian border in the Trento region.
And do you think many fans will come to see you if you are in the final matches on Saturday?
Well… I don’t know. Let’s first try to shoot in the final matches and we’ll hope that many Italians fans will come and watch!
Good Luck!
Didier Miéville
FITA Communication

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