Rome 2017 competition preview #1: Compound women

Archery’s annual international tour took athletes to Shanghai, Antalya, Salt Lake City and Berlin in 2017, as the world’s best shooters looked to secure ranking points towards qualifying for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

With the ranking lists settled after stage four, seven archers in each competition category – plus the top ranked mixed teams – were invited to Rome. Joined by an Italian host-nation representative at this 12th edition of the event, they’ll contest coveted Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion crowns.

All the previews

Statsheet #1: Compound women

  • Number of athletes: 8
  • Number of nations: 7
  • Defending Champion: Marcella Tonioli
  • World number one: Sarah Sonnichsen

The one-to-beat

Not the defending champion, not the world number one; still the one to survive in matchplay to have a chance at winning gold, Colombia’s Sara Lopez won the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in 2014 and 2015.

She had to pull out of the 2016 event due to personal reasons but, this season, she’s back – and out to prove she deserves to reclaim her world-leading position in the compound women’s division.


Champion in 2016, Marcella Tonioli did not have a strong follow-up season. 

She was picked as Italy’s representative for the final anyway, so she’d get that chance to defend the crown – and, since no host archer has ever won the tournament, has a chance to make history in the making.


(The seed for the event is given in brackets after each athlete’s name. Statistics are from the 2017 season only; average arrow in 50-metre ranking rounds and matches, match wins at continental level and above.)


The world number one and top-seeded compound woman for Rome, Sonnichsen finished second at her home World Cup Final in Odense, Denmark in 2016, after losing the final to Tonioli in a shoot-off. Nevertheless, it was a break-out season for the 22-year-old, who made 2017 her most winning season yet, taking gold medals in Antalya and Berlin and silvers in Salt Lake City and Shanghai.

Average arrow: 9.71 / Match wins: 24-6 (80%)

SARA LOPEZ, Colombia (2)

Still the one-to-beat, though she’s dropped down to number two in the world rankings, Lopez medalled at all three stages in which she competed in 2017. Only one stage win, at stage one, this season – but Sara also became World Games Champion in Wroclaw, and shoots the highest average arrow of any compound woman in Rome.

Average arrow: 9.74 / Match wins: 17-2 (89%)

SARAH PRIEELS, Belgium (3)

Over the 2017 season, Prieels put 0.15 points per arrow onto her overall career average – and that yielded her first Hyundai Archery World Cup stage podium in Shanghai, where she took bronze.

Average arrow: 9.56 / Match wins: 18-9 (67%)


Marcos won her first Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Antalya in 2015. Two years later, in Salt Lake City, she climbed the top of the podium again – taking her second individual medal and win on the tour at stage three.

Average arrow: 9.61 / Match wins: 13-5 (72%)

TANJA JENSEN, Denmark (5)

The reigning World Archery Youth Champion since 2015, Jensen beat teammate Sarah Sonnichsen – the top seed in Rome – in that very gold medal match in Yankton, USA. She came second in Antalya in 2017, to Sonnichsen, after knocking out Sara Lopez – and snapping the Colombian archer’s winning streak.

Average arrow: 9.58 / Match wins: 18-5 (78%)

YESIM BOSTAN, Turkey (6)

It’s the second time in a row that Bostan has qualified for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final. In Odense in 2016 she finished fourth – frustrating, perhaps – but an individual silver medal in Berlin at stage four made qualification for the 2017 final a lock, and another chance at a podium secured.

Average arrow: 9.57 / Match wins: 10-6 (63%)

CHEN YI-HSUAN, Chinese Taipei (7)

A second-phase invitee to Rome after Parisa Baratchi from Iran dropped out due to injury, Chen never podiumed but finished eighth, ninth and eighth again, individually, at the first three stages of the season. Fresh off a silver medal at the Universiade, Chen faces Lopez in the Rome first round – a formidable archer she’s not been drawn against before.

Average arrow: 9.46 / Match wins: 13-5 (72%)


The first match in Rome is a rematch of the final match of Odense, where Marcella beat Sarah in a tiebreaker to take gold. 

Tonioli just hasn’t had the same level in 2017 – but with a proven pedigree of podiums at internationals, and this her fifth cap at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, this one match could have the most volatile effect on the brackets if Marcella can put her arrows down the line.

Average arrow: 9.54 / Match wins: 10-7 (59%)

The gold final?

The prediction: Sonnichsen / Lopez

All things considered, Sonnichsen has just been better than Tonioli (her first opponent) and both Marcos and Jensen – one of whom she’d face in match two – in 2017.

A final against Lopez would be the deserved ending to the season.

In our database, we have three matches between the current world number one and number two – and Lopez was victorious each time. For Sonnichsen to defend her top-ranked spot, she’d need to break that pattern – and secure her first Hyundai Archery World Cup crown.

Advantage: Sonnichsen

The 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final takes place on 2/3 September in Rome, Italy.