In the Casting world, there is not such a lot of casters started with casting just their parents were casters too. Yes, time to time there is someone. But mostly competitors did not grow up in family of casters. But there one boy appeared at Switzerland. Daddy, very skilled caster, was taking his son at his training and let the boy try to cast on targets. A few decades later the boy became one of two great Swiss casters that could reach more than 10 titles of world champion or European champion.
Markus participated the first European championship in 1989, the Oslo of Norway. The last world championship he participated was placed in Polish Bychawa in 2023. During that time being 24 years long, he got 45 individual medals (2nd place in Switzerland).
He took 13 gold medals (2nd place in Switzerland). Although he is still waiting for his gold from any x-thlon, he was 2nd for three times.
The strongest events were with multi reel, both accuracy and distance events.
The average medal gain per 1 participation in the championship was 1.36, which ranks him in 6th place.
Switzerland is one of a few countries that participated world championship from its very beginning. Just on the first world championship, organized by ICF in 1957, there could be seen the Swiss legends like Mrs. Vieser, Mr. Berli or Mr. Schreck. Those men became first Swiss medalist during 50th and 60th of 20th Century. But since 60th the casters split into those that participated ICF championship and those that participated CIPS championships. And so Mr. Vieser participated ICF champs but Mr. Schreck participated the CIPS champs. One of a few exceptions was Mr. Peter Hässig that participated everything he could. So like in 1975 he participated European championship of CIPS(FCS) and then he participated World championship of ICF.
In 70th of 20th Century ICF and CIPS decided to make one rules for both organizations. That time new caster raised - Peter Kläusler. We can find him in result of 3 European championships and 4 World championships. He was very skilled in multi events and fly skish. For 6 times he could get into first 5 casters and he also was 5th in multi triathlon in 1975 (Spa, Belgic).
But best event was the multi distance. No wonder that all 3 medals he got are from multi distance event. In 1975 and 1981 he got bronze medals but the best year was 1980 when he became the world champion in that event, casting over 107 meters and beating all casters by 6 meters (!).
The apple seems not falling far from the tree. But let's talk about it from the start...
Young Markus start to get in touch with casting as just a 8 years boy. He walked to training place with his dad and so dad let him try casting, time to time. Two years later Markus participated his first competitions. Since his 11 years of age he started getting in touch with fly events. He even found the very first photo of him casting. On that photo he holds fly skish rod. He was 12 years old on it.
The passion of young Markus continued to grow. When he was 13 years old, I participated his first international tournament. Located in Lyon (France) .
ICF and FCS decided to make European youth championship. First was placed in Fürth im Wald (Germany) in 1981. And Markus moved there with plan to participate. But - he had just returned from a hot weather-holiday in Corsica and arrived in Furth im Walde (GER) where it was cold and rainy. Unfortunately, things didn’t go quite a planned as Markus fell ill with a fever of over 40 degrees before the competition even started and had to be hospitalized. The doctors warned him that if his fever didn’t subside, he wouldn’t be able to go home with Swiss team and would have to stay in the hospital. Determined to join the team, Markus resorted to tampering with the fever meter so that after two days he could leave the hospital.
And so he returned home without doing a single cast at the Junior European Championship.
Beginning in men category was not easy for Markus. In Switzerland there were two organizations and both claimed 3 starting places at the championships. Communication between both organizations was so bad that in 1984 only casters of one organization participated the world championship and in other years till 1991 Switzerland did not set group for team competition.
Qualification for Markus was hard. There were better caster in his organization. But he took it as a challenge. He kept pushing forward and finally, in 1989, he qualified for Europe Championship in Oslo (Norway). He trained almost exclusively the multi events because he saw his greatest chances there. However, due to an error in registration by our secretary, he was only registered for events 1-8 and wasn’t allowed to compete in the multi events. A pity...
But it was not bad anyway. In fly skish he had full point start. Unfortunately no medal then. He also got among first 10 casters in plug distances, 7th place in single handed and 8th position in double handed. In both events he was the best Swiss caster.
A year later Markus came to Bordeaux (France) and he participated his first world championship. That year he could cast in all events. And it was very interesting.
It was not so good in event of pentathlon or octathlon. Only in arenberg Markus was among first 10 men with result 98 points. Octathlon was crashed by spinning distance double handed scored 0. But then "his" events came. A little warm up by 4th place in multi skish, just 5 point below bronze place (or at least fight for it). Followed by multi distance. That time event were without any final, just the result from base round determined the winner. And that year American legend Chris Korich was winner. But Markus was just behind him and gained silver medal. Missing only 1.5 meter. Those two events, those 4th and 2nd place put Markus to the 1st place in multi duathlon. And so Markus became world championship in that duathlon. Both American legend Steve Rajeff and Chris Korich were just behind him.
But the best moment was in the multi distance. Swiss guys had double there - Markus got silver medal and Peter Hässig got bronze medal. The bronze was the last medal of great, incredibly long a amazing casting career of Peter Hässig. Celebration of the two medals and that two casters was big and Markus still remember that time. Well, maybe the celebration was not so big if Markus can remember it... :)
Another year Europe championship again. Den Haag in Netherlands. Markus got two medals there too. Bronze medal in multi skish and silver in multi duathlon. Next year was medalless.
And year 1993 with new rules came. Smaller targets on fly skish, different starting boards positions at arenberg, fly combination was cancelled. Another year later metal plugs were replaced by plastic ones.
That year 1994 brought a medal to Markus just from another event. It was fly skish where Markus tactically casted slower but precisely. He was absolutely the slowest guy, he was one minute more than the second slowest man in final. But Markus managed to have 100 points. Only German Thomas Maire had 100 points too. And so Markus got silver for his 2nd place. And added his first event title of world champion. In multi distance he had over 1 meter longer cast than second Björn Larsen.
90's were full of some "for first time". In 1995 Markus got his first medal in all-round. Great Henrik Österberg won not giving any changes to be beaten. Won with 16 points for 2nd place. That man on 2nd place was Markus. First medal from all-round for Switzerland.
Another title from event - multi skish. Markus had to fly to South Africa and fight with Steve Rajeff for the title there. Both had the same result in base round and fought again. Steve was done with it very fast - 5:30. Having 2 zeros. But Markus did not hurry. He used 9 minutes of 10 minutes of allowed time. But he missed only once. Great winning and beating great opponent. And another title of world champion for Markus and Switzerland.
New millennium and new rules. Final rounds for all events, first 8 men and first 6 ladies. Good change for someone, bad change for another one. But it brought new title to Markus in 2003.
Europe championship in Berlin was in old olympic stadium. Multi distance was very even, first 8 casters' casts did lay in 2 meter range. Markus had the longest cast, close to 105 meters. And close to Markus was Jens. It was not an easy final round. Even Jens got over 106 meters. But it was not enough for beating Markus. He got over 107 meters. Second title for Markus in multi distance. Fourth title overall.
Next Europe and a problem - English guys. One two three and Peter Thain was behind 116 meters distance point in multi distance. He had 5 meter longer cast than anyone else. Markus was third in base round, loosing 8 meters to Peter longest cast. But final round starts from zero for everyone and there was not so obvious who is the best. Peter Thain finally had a cast over 108 meters. But Markus's cast was longer, over 110 meters. So, Markus won this event for third time.
Till end of first decade of new millennium, another quite unexpected gold medal came. Don't want to say that Markus could not cast pentathlon events but only a few times he got some medal from them. And especially gold one was not the regular medal... Well, in 2008 Markus got it. In Polish Krakow 7 castes got full 100 points in arenberg. Including Markus. During final round Markus was very slow "again". Five casters were finished during 1:30, Markus had tome over 2:15. But he was the only one that had 100 points in final too. And so he gained his 6th title of champion.
After silver from 2001 and bronze from 2007 Markus got the gold medal in arenberg. Finally. His last medal on arenberg...
For next title Markus had to wait for long 5 years. Moved to Germany for it in 2013. That year Czech Jan Bombera surprised everyone casting 100 points on multi skish as the only one male caster. Markus and other 5 casters had one cast missed. But the final round was under direction of Markus. Slow casting no more, Markus finished the final as fastest guy and also he was the only guy with 100 points. Switzerland was happy for double, bronze medal gained by the second Markus, Markus Schwarz.
One year later in Poland. The Bombera again. The Bombera with 5 points better result, again. That year it seemed to be no final for Markus, he missed two casts. Happily he got to final. But the final round looked like the final a year before. Again full points, again very fast. Again the winner. That year Bombera stood just below him with silver, having 100 points too but 2 minutes slower.
The Poland meant another "for first time" for Markus. He got to final in fly skish. There were 11 hundreds but Markus had fast time enough to get to final. And the final was very thrilling. Due to bad weather conditions no one had 100 points. Markus had 95 points. But he was very fast. So fast that he was the fastest caster. And he got gold medal from fly skish. For first time, Markus got two gold medals on one championship. Fantastic performance.
The jubilee 10th gold got in Spain, year 2016. Michael Harter had surprising 100 points on multi skish. Markus had it too and with two another German casters, Olaf and Heinz, he knew the final would not be easy. And set a fast casting level. True, he was not the fastest. Czech Jan Bombera, enjoying his results, tried to be as fastest as he could. And tried to be as fast as Markus. Was not easy to cast under pressure. But Markus did handle it. Although he tried, he was 1 second slower. But with 100 points, Jan had lower result. Yeah, the 10th gold was gained the hard way... :)
It seemed the only title would come just in multi skish. In Sweden (2018) Markus had 100 points in base round and in final round he casted very fast. Bud with one missed cast. Had to wait what Polish Jan Kita would have. Jan was slow and precise. But finally also Jan had one zero. Thanks to fast time Markus got 11th gold medal.
A year later Markus moved to Czechia. As one of three casters he had 95 points. Fastest time put him to start No. 8. And there he set fast casting level again. And for 100 points. Silver Tomasz from Poland had 1 missed cast and 1 minute slower time.
Covid break. No world championship in 2020. It was very close to cancel it even in 2021. Finally the world championship was prepared. In Hungary. Crazy conditions. Wind was blowing all directions. Hard to place the courts, harder to cast there. Markus had big problems to reach at least 80 points. Luckily he got to the final round. Final round was very fast, close to 2 minutes. Bud two Czech guys were faster and missed only once. Markus had 2 zeroes and so he had bronze medal.
A day earlier Markus got to final in fly skish. Having 100 points like 7 other casters. In final several guys were almost running, finishing the casting in a minute and a quarter. Markus was slower, having it done in 2:11. But he did not missed any target, other missed. And so Markus got his next gold. The 13th gold. The last gold so far.
In Tallin 2022 a little of luck was missing. Final round of fly skish, but one target missed. Final of multi skish, but one target missed and two casters faster. Bronze medal, so far 45th medal.
Bychawa 2023 - no medal... :(
It was a long journey. Still not ending!
So far Markus gained 45 medals. Mostly on multi skish (12: 6-3-3) and multi distance (9: 3-2-4). Successful also in all-round, getting 7 medals (.-3-4).
Although there were not many medals gained from pentathlon events, he could get under 10 points loss. Best result was in 2005 with only 2 points (100-98-100). Much more interesting is the target loss in combination with multi skish. In 1996 Markus lost only 8 points (100-98-100-100). This result put Markus on 4th place in world ranking.
During his career Markus could reach:
- 19x 100p result at fly skish,
- 62,23 meters at fly distance single handed,
- 5x 100p result at spinning arenberg,
- 6x 100p result at spinning skish,
- 87,96 meters at spinning distance single handed,
- 88,14 meters at fly distance double handed,
- 135,86 meters at spinning distance double handed,
- 8x 100p result at multi skish,
- 116,10 meters at multi distance double handed.
So good luck next year...