The way the last four months have gone on the world archery tour for Nicholas D’Amour, dreaming of an Olympics medal wasn’t too far fetched.
However, the St. Thomas resident saw his shot at medaling in the Tokyo Games come to a crashing halt Thursday afternoon (late Wednesday night in the U.S. Virgin Islands) with a first-round loss in the men’s recurve division’s eliminations matches.
The 19-year-old D’Amour lost 6-5 to Australia’s Ryan Tyack in a shootout, with D’Amour — seeded 23rd — making an 8 to 42nd-seeded Tyack’s 9 on the first arrow.
D’Amour had been considered a medal contender for the Tokyo Games after making a tremendous climb through the world rankings. Over the past four months, he has moved from 196th in the men’s recurve division as of March 20 to third in the world in the last World Archery rankings issued before the Olympics.
That rise through the rankings came as D’Amour was posting high finishes in some of the world’s most prestigious tournaments. In his last seven events before the Tokyo Games, he had finished in the top seven or better in six of them, including a silver-medal finish in the European Grand Prix in Turkey in early April.
However, D’Amour’s lone blemish on that run also involved the Olympics — a 33rd-place finish in the Final Qualifying Tournament for the Tokyo Games, held in Paris in mid-June.
Barnes, U.S. struggle, fall to 13th
St. Thomas native Nikki Barnes and teammate Lara Dallman-Weiss struggled on the water Thursday afternoon in the second day of racing in the women’s 470 class.
The 26-year-old Barnes, an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, and Dallman-Weiss, 32, posted finishes of 15th and 13th in Team USA’s two races in Enoshima Yacht Harbour, the site of the sailing competition in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
That dropped Barnes and Dallman-Weiss from a tie for eighth in the overall standings to a tie for 13th with 32 points after four races, with the worst race’s score dropped. They are tied with Afrodite Zegers and Lobke Berkhour of the Netherlands.
The women’s 470 class will hold its next four races closer to the shore in Zushi, a coastal town about five miles east of Enoshima, with two races today beginning as 12:15 p.m. (11:15 p.m. late Thursday night in the USVI) and two more at 12:05 p.m. Sunday (11:05 p.m. late Saturday night in the USVI).
The final two races, as well as the medal race, will return to Enoshima on Monday and Wednesday, respectively.
• The British Virgin Islands’ lone two-time Olympian at the Tokyo Games goes into action tonight (this morning in the USVI) when Elinah Phillip swims her heat race in the women’s 50-meter freestyle.
Phillip, who competed for the BVI in the 2016 Rio Olympics, is scheduled to swim in Lane No. 1 in the sixth of 11 planned heat races, which begins at 7:34 p.m. today (6:34 a.m. in the USVI).
• Chantel Malone, who took a gold medal for the BVI at the 2019 Pan American Games, will go through her qualifying round for the women’s long jump Sunday morning (Saturday night in the USVI).
The qualifying rounds begin at 9:50 a.m. Sunday (8:50 p.m. Saturday in the USVI), with the final set for 10:50 a.m. Aug. 3 (9:50 p.m. Aug. 2 in the USVI).
• Eddie Lovett, the USVI’s lone track and field athlete, will runs his first heat race in the men’s 110-meter hurdles the evening of Aug. 3 (that morning in the USVI). Lovett also ran for the USVI in the 2016 Rio Olympics.