WUHAN, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- When Ben Adriaensen left the field of play after losing to Russian archer Vitalii Popov on Monday in men's 1/32 elimination at the 7th Military World Games, the Belgian struggled to find the right words to describe his performance.
The sole representative for Belgium in the archery competition was overwhelmed by the competition at the tournament in Wuhan, China.
"I have competed at the CISM World Military Games before, but I think this one is much bigger. When we got here, I was overwhelmed by the fact how big it is, and I still am," said Adriaensen.
"Here, I wanted to do the best I could. I came quite close to that but hoped for a bit more. I really struggled because I was so amazed by everything here. I felt that while competing."
Adriaensen said his experience at the Wuhan Games is important to him in his preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
"I still hope to qualify for the [Olympic] Games, because that is where I would like to be. Next year, we have some chances to qualify during several competitions in Europe. I hope we can get a ticket for the mission competition, and maybe also for the individual one."
"The competition here has been a great experience in the lead-up to the Olympics. I think people in Europe sometimes forget about how big this competition actually is. People tend to think: 'oh, it's just the CISM World Military Games.' But in fact, this event is huge. It's important for me, because it feels like the Olympics."
At the Games, Adriaensen is Belgium's lone archer. "Basically, I form a team with my coach. He helps me with everything. It's very personal, but that makes it nice. We know each other quite well. Of course, it would have been nice to be here with my teammates, but in the end, archery is an individual sport."
In the last few months, Adriaensen has travelled the world to compete at the archery World Cup events and world championships. "It's been a long and difficult season, but I will always have this competition in Wuhan in the back of my mind. I am glad I am here, and I really see this as a stepping stone for more."