Kang Chae Young wins Universiade; Lee defends men’s title

Pictures courtesy Tetsu Lee and Taipei 2017.

Recurve archers Lee Seungyun and Kang Chae Young took individual titles on the last day of competition in Taipei City, making it two in a row at the event for 2013 World Archery Champion and a second consecutive clean sweep of individual titles for Korea at the Universiade.

Song Yun Soo and Kim Jongho had already successfully defended their compound champion crowns in Taipei.

Twenty-one-year-old Kang, who made an incredible international debut in 2015 when she won three gold medals at the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Shanghai, also won the most recent leg of the international tour in Berlin, Germany. She was the only new individual winner at the Universiade, inheriting the recurve women’s title from Ki Bo Bae (who took gold medals in 2011 and 2015).

“Until after Salt Lake, I wasn’t in good form for competition. During that third World Cup in the US, I realised what I wasn’t doing well in the matches. I had no confidence in myself. As soon as I got back to Korea, I focused on improving my self-confidence,” said Chae Young.

She won a major national tournament days before Berlin, before returning to the international podium at the last stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup.

“I got my feeling again and, in practice, it worked so well. Then, I went to Berlin and it worked again. I still had the positive sensation from Berlin in Taipei and I managed to continue to shoot my best.”

She qualified third overall at the Universiade, while teammate Choi Misun shot a world record, before scything through the brackets.

A final against home-favourite Tan Ya-Ting, representing Chinese Taipei, looked tight after two sets with the pair tied at 2-2. In the third, Tan started shooting eights – she put in at least one in each of the subsequent sets – while Kang rode a series of 28s to victory.

“I’m quite proud of myself, and more than happy with my performance heading into the world championships,” she concluded.

The Universiade was 2013 World Archery Champion Lee Seungyun’s first international tournament since the Olympic Games in Rio, where he finished seventh individually and took team gold with Kim Woojin, who came third in Taipei, and Ku Bonchan.

Lee ranked first in qualification, beat Oldair Zamora, Max Mandia, Mathieu Jimenez, Arpad Banda and – in the final – Arsalan Baldanov in straight sets to take gold.

“I’m very excited to return to international competition and, compared with other events, I think I enjoyed this competition more,” said repeat-champion Lee.

“Though some archers at the Universiade are a little less experienced than at World Cups or World Championships, a lot of good archers came. So I’m satisfied with my performance and this result.”

Korea also took a straight set victory in the recurve men’s team gold medal match, plus shoot-off wins in the recurve women’s team and mixed team finals.

The archery competitions at the 2017 Universiade took place 19-24 August in Taipei City