Schloesser approaching career milestone in Guatemala City

Mike Schloesser counts his points during qualification at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

While perhaps not quite at the level of Brady Ellison or Sara Lopez, each in pursuit of their record-sixth Hyundai Archery World Cup title, Dutch compound archer Mike Schloesser is one finals performance away from an impressive milestone of his own.

The reigning circuit champion has won at least one stage in each of the past four seasons, and he’s two matches away from claiming his fifth here in Guatemala City at the 2021 season opener.

Schloesser advanced to the final four of the compound men's category Wednesday at the Sport Complex Los Arcos. He defeated Russia’s Alexey Bashkirev, 150-134, in the second round and the incumbent World Archery Champion James Lutz, of the USA, 147-146, in the third to book his spot in the final four that will shoot for individual gold on Saturday.

“I was struggling a little bit with myself in the wind,” said Schloesser, ever the perfectionist.

“I wasn’t prepared for it because yesterday was such a beautiful day, completely the opposite [to today]. After a few ends of practice and [matchplay] ends, I was able to put my arrows in the middle.”

Mister Perfect has been in top form to start this new season.

During qualification, he recorded his first-ever perfect half of 36 arrows on the way to earning the top seed on Tuesday. His total score of 717 matched his competition bests, shot in 2016 and 2017, and there are no signs of him letting up against the USA’s Kris Schaff, the archer he will face during the semifinals on Saturday in Guatemala City.

Mike Schloesser shoots during qualification at the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City.

“The nines I shot are really close to the 10, so I wouldn’t change anything of my shooting or my bow or anything,” Schloesser said after qualifying. “I’m really happy how it went today, and I’d like to keep shooting like this.”

It was in Shanghai, in 2016, where Schloesser won his first-career stage on the Hyundai Archery World Cup, also shooting 717 in the ranking round on his way to victory in the opener that year – and then the eventual circuit title.

He then won the third stage in Salt Lake City the following year the second stage of the circuit in Antalya in 2018.

But rewind two years, and the pattern from 2016 repeated itself in 2019, when he won the first stage in Medellin and closed the season with his second circuit trophy, claiming victory in Moscow.

The 15th season of the Hyundai Archery World Cup, delayed one year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is finally in progress. And Mike Schloesser is just 30 regulation arrows away from his fifth stage win on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit – and potentially even more as the year progresses.

The winners in Guatemala City will book the first tickets to this year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Final. The deciding matches will be broadcast live on Saturday afternoon with international streaming in certain territories.

Final fours

Archers are listed in match order, with seed in brackets. The first two archers face each other in the first semifinal, the second two in the second semifinal.

Compound men

Compound women