At Para Archery, we were introduced to Guillaume Toucoullet, who shoots his arrows in a very special way. He uses his mouth instead of his hand.
All his life, Toucoullet has been a sportsman. From age 6 to 14, he played Basque Pelota and then switched to rowing. In 2010, he had a motorcycle accident, after which he had to rehabilitate. But his left arm would never be the same. That, then, is why he fires the arrow with his mouth. “Not many athletes in the international competition field shoot with their mouths”, Toucoullet says. From the US, India, Indonesia and Mexico, there are four other players who do it this way.
But how do you still train this particular technique? “I train my mouth in the gym. That’s really the only thing.” Whether it is more difficult than hand archery with your hands, Toucoullet does not dare say. “I think it’s harder for me when there’s a lot of wind”, he said. That Toucoullet is doing so well as a newcomer to the sport he owes to his way of training and to his coaches. “My coach has different information as I do when I shoot. I need him to be able to discuss things with him. Besides that, of course, I try to get the best out of myself.”
When Toucoullet starts talking about the tournament in Rotterdam, an even bigger smile appears on his face. “I’m really enjoying it! There are also other sports here and it’s different from what I’m normally used to. I love going to watch Wheelchair Basketball and Para Badminton.”
On Tuesday, Elisabetta Mijno broke the world record in the Open Curve class, scoring 17 more points (674) than her predecessor. “It was incredible to see. I like to congratulate her because she was very good. The conditions were very favorable yesterday morning, but it’s a very good performance by her.”