Korea clinches compound men’s team title for the first time

The Korean compound men’s team of Kim Jongho, Choi Yonghee and Yang Jaewon took gold at the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch, beating Turkey in the final, 235-233.

It is the first world title in this category for Korea.

“Without doubt, this is the number one title in my career. It is everything to me,” said team leader Choi. “Since 2011, this is our fifth attempt and I’m just in disbelief that we were able to do it. I’m just so grateful to my younger teammates.”

The scores were tied at halfway in the match, with both Korea and Turkey sitting on 115 points.

Korea shot six perfect 10s – six perfect Xs – in the third end. Turkey almost, but not quite, managed to reply in kind. Just Muhammed Yetim dropped a nine with his last shot.

It left Turkey just a point adrift heading into the last end. The Turkish team sank five 10s in a row to keep their hopes alive until Yetim again sent an arrow wide.

Korea responded in full force, cleaning a second consecutive end to take the title by two points, 235-233.

The Korean men used a ‘boomerang’ formation on stage, with Jongho opening up the first rotation and anchoring the second in each end. (There are two rotations of three arrows, one per athlete, in each six-arrow end of team competition.)

“The reason we changed the order is that the first arrow is the most important arrow to start a set. But the last arrow is important, too. We thought that Jongho was fit and strong, so we let him start and finish the sets,” said Choi.

In the compound men’s bronze medal match, the Netherlands’ Mike Schloesser, Peter Elzinga and Sil Pater beat Colombia by a single point, 231-230, on a drizzle-swept stage in Den Bosch. It was a tense opening men’s match for the home crowd.

“We had a good competitor and Colombia should be proud because they made a really tough match, and it's good for the public and for archery,” said Elzinga afterwards.

World number one Schloesser had trouble with a loose rest – looking confused as he sent arrows low into the nine. It took him a couple of ends to fix the issue and settle in.

“We started a little bit nervous – all of us – but in the end, the crowd, the public they stood behind us and that’s that gave us so much energy,” said Elzinga.

“We kept telling ourselves to enjoy the moment. We let it roll and this time we came out as a winner.”

The 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships take place on 10-16 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.