Ellison to face Woo Seok in final of first Hyundai Archery World Cup stage of 2019

Brady Ellison and Lee Woo Seok will contest the recurve men’s gold medal and Kang Chae Young will face Melanie Gaubil for the women’s title at the first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Medellin, Colombia.

The top seed, Ellison, needed a masterful performance in his semifinal against Sjef van den Berg to advance.

“That was one of the best recurve matches I’ve ever seen,” he said afterwards. “Honestly, if that would have gone the other way, and with the scores that we shot I still would have been okay, because that was just a hell of a match. But yes, I’m very excited that I was on the upper end of it.”

The level was incredible. Sjef opened with sets of 29, 30 and 30 to Brady’s 29, 29 and 30 to put himself 4-2 up.

“I just said to myself, the only way you’re gonna get it is if you don’t drop a point. I shot a 30 to a 29 and a 30 to a 28 to close,” said Brady.

The four-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion dropped just two points in 15 arrows. His opponent only left four on the target.

“This was probably my best international match I’ve shot, so I cannot be unhappy,” said Sjef, who’ll shoot against Kim Woojin for bronze on Sunday.

Woojin, who opened eliminations morning with a perfect match in the third round by shooting eight Xs with a 10, was outclassed by Woo Seok in their semifinal. The youngest member of the Korean squad is the reigning world number one – but qualified lowest of the team.

“I was just focusing on my arrow groups. If I’d lost, I wouldn’t have cared – because I tried my best,” he said.

Lee Woo Seok and Brady Ellison faced each other twice in 2018.

Brady won a semifinal shoot-off at the opening stage of last season’s Hyundai Archery World Cup in Shanghai; Woo Seok then defeated Brady in a four-set semifinal at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

“He’s won one, I’ve won one. So I’m hoping for a good match against him,” said Woo Seok.

Kang Chae Young will enter the arena as the favourite for the recurve women’s title – but faces a first-time finallist in Melanie Gaubil who was arguably more impressive in the eliminations.

Aside from a quarterfinal five-setter against Michelle Kroppen, Frenchwoman Gaubil didn’t let any of her matches extend more than four ends.

While in the fourth round, Chae Young needed a final-arrow 10 to beat Sonoda Waka. She took three attempts at it.

“At the time, I was nervous about the match. I was thinking about making a confident shot to get the points I needed,” she said.

The top-seeded recurve woman in Medellin delivered and her groups came together in the latter end of the brackets. She finished with two perfect 30s in a semifinal victory over Sugimoto Tomomi.

Tomomi will shoot against Lan Lu of China in the recurve women’s bronze medal match.

Competition at the first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Medellin, Colombia runs until Sunday 28 April.