Samsun 2018 competition preview #4: Recurve men

The two recurve men’s finalists from 2017, Kim Woojin and Brady Ellison, return to the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in 2018 with a chance of repeating the gold medal clash.

Kim’s won two previous Finals, including the last, Ellison four – but neither might be the biggest attractions in Samsun.

It’s debutants Lee Woo Seok of Korea and Turkey’s Mete Gazoz, who shot together and against each other at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games, in the spotlight at this event. At least, it will be if they survive their quarterfinal matches and make something of this tournament.

Stat-sheet #4: Recurve men

  • Number of athletes: 8
  • Number of nations: 6
  • Defending champion: Kim Woojin, Korea
  • World number one: Steve Wijler, Netherlands
  • Competition start: 2pm CET Sunday 30 September


(World ranking is given in brackets after each athlete’s name. Average arrow given for 70-metre ranking rounds and matches, match wins and tiebreaks at world ranking level and above. Statistics may not be complete.)

STEVE WIJLER, Netherlands (1)

Two years ago, Steve Wijler was unknown. Not even a mid- or low-table finisher, he didn’t shoot internationally until the start of 2017. After being named recurve man and breakthrough athlete of the year at the end of last season, he’s back for his second consecutive Hyundai Archery World Cup Final…

…but he’s no longer the underdog. Wijler is the world number one.

  • Average arrow: season – 9.25; career – 9.21
  • Match wins: season – 28-7 (80%); career – 46-12 (79%)
  • Tiebreak wins: season – 5-3 (63%); career – 8-3 (73%)

LEE WOO SEOK, Korea – top seed (2)

A debut Hyundai Archery World Cup Final to conclude a debut season for Korean youth archer – and 2014 Youth Olympic Champion – Lee Woo Seok. He was impressive back at those Games at 60 metres, and he’s just as impressive at the senior distance.

Lee won gold in Antalya, beating teammate Woojin, and took silver in Berlin. His per-arrow average in 2018 matches two-time World Archery Champion Kim’s, and he’s proven capable of delivering in the arena.

  • Average arrow: season – 9.47; career – 9.45
  • Match wins: season – 17-3 (85%); career – 27-6 (82%)
  • Tiebreak wins: season – 2-2 (50%); career – 3-3 (50%)

KIM WOOJIN, Korea – second seed (3)

The defending Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion started the season strong by taking a stage gold medal at the first event of the year in Shanghai. He took silver in Antalya and then finished seventh in Berlin, but hasn’t seemed at his sometime-dominant best.

That said, Woojin’s still matching his career average points-per-shot and ahead of his all-time match win ratio in 2018.

  • Average arrow: season – 9.47; career – 9.47
  • Match wins: season – 18-2 (90%); career – 111-23 (83%)
  • Tiebreak wins: season – 0-0; career – 8-5 (62%)


This two-time Olympic team Champion won his first Hyundai Archery World Cup stage when he took gold in Salt Lake City in 2018.

Up to number four in the world rankings thanks to a list of results that didn’t see him finish outside of the top 10 all season – in individual, mixed or team events – he enters his second Hyundai Archery World Cup Final shooting the best arrows of his career.

  • Average arrow: season – 9.29; career – 9.23
  • Match wins: season – 16-5 (76%); career – 96-62 (61%)
  • Tiebreak wins: season – 2-2 (50%); career – 10-9 (53%)

METE GAZOZ, Turkey (6)

Without a doubt, the home favourite. Mete’s risen to stardom in 2018, shooting a dominant summer of qualification rounds and winning his first Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in a sublime tiebreak against Lee Woo Seok in Berlin.

In fact, this 19-year-old’s career tiebreak record is the best of the recurve men’s field in Samsun. He’s only lost one in across all the world ranking tournaments in our database.

  • Average arrow: season – 9.39; career – 9.13
  • Match wins: season – 21-4 (84%); career – 46-21 (69%)
  • Tiebreak wins: season – 2-1 (67%); career – 5-1 (83%)


The winningest archer in the history of the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final has taken four career titles on the circuit. He’s finished on the podium a further three times, including a silver last season, and been to every edition since 2010.

  • Average arrow: season – 9.33; career – 9.34
  • Match wins: season – 17-9 (65%); career – 244-74 (77%)
  • Tiebreak wins: season – 6-2 (75%); career – 27-16 (63%)

TAYLOR WORTH, Australia (14)

Experienced Worth makes his Hyundai Archery World Cup Final debut in Samsun. He qualified for the final by winning bronze in Berlin – and he needed to take that match and climb that podium to finally secure the place.

It’s easy to see why he’s joined this eight-man field; Worth has increased his per-arrow average by 0.15. That’s half a point each set of matchplay – which is the difference between winning and losing in this sport of millimetres.

  • Average arrow: season – 9.29; career – 9.14
  • Match wins: season – 11-4 (73%); career – 56-45 (62%)
  • Tiebreak wins: season – 1-0 (100%); career – 5-5 (50%)

FATIH BOZLAR, Turkey – host representative (78)

In Samsun as the second Turkish recurve man thanks to Mete Gazoz qualifying outright with a win in Berlin, Bozlar is the underdog in this division. Ranked just 78th in the world, there’s no expectation on his shoulders.

He’s been shooting internationally, on-and-off, since 2012. This will be the biggest stage of his career.

  • Average arrow: season – 8.92; career – 8.94
  • Match wins: season – 6-5 (55%); career – 24-23 (51%)
  • Tiebreak wins: season – 2-0 (100%); career – 4-4 (50%)

The 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final takes place on 29-30 September in Samsun, Turkey.