Moscow 2019 competition preview #4: Recurve women

The recurve women’s line-up in Moscow is intriguing. It’s missing the defending champion, who didn’t shoot internationally for Korea this season let alone qualify for the event, and also without the reigning world champion.

Lei Chien-Ying didn’t have a good Hyundai Archery World Cup campaign – but she came up big when she needed a win at the world championships, knocking off world number one Kang Chae Young in the gold medal match in ’s-Hertogenbosch.

And aside from that one shoot-off arrow that relegated her to runner-up, Chae Young has looked dominant in 2019. She won the two stages of the tour at which she competed and broke the world record for the ranking round this year.

She’s the favourite, if not a heavy one.

Factsheet #4: Recurve women

  • Number of athletes: 8
  • Number of nations: 6
  • Defending champion: Lee Eun Gyeong, Korea (did not qualify)
  • World number one: Kang Chae Young, Korea
  • World champion: Lei Chien-Ying, Chinese Taipei (did not qualify)
  • Competition time: 5pm GMT+3 (local) Saturday 7 September


3 Storylines

1) First-time winner? None of the recurve women competing in Russia has ever won the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final before. We will have a first-time champion.

Kang Chae Young, despite her international success, ranking and records – is making her debut at the season-ending event. First time’s the charm?

2) China’s return. It’s been three years since China last had an archer at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final. Wu Jiaxin finished fourth in Odense in 2016. After a period of hibernation, a new young squad has emerged – and it’s led by dynamic duo Zheng Yichai and An Qixuan. Both are capable of medalling in Moscow.

3) Perova power. She hasn’t had the fire in her eyes that drove the 30-year-old to a world title in 2017 so far this season. Wouldn’t it just be beautiful – and oh, so emotional for Ksenia Perova – if she recaptured that same spirit at this major tournament on home soil.


Data correct as of 30 August 2019. World ranking given is current. Average arrow score, match wins and tiebreak wins in international competition this season only.

Tan Ya-Ting, Chinese Taipei

Consistency is the hallmark of greatness. At least in archery. And Tan Ya-Ting has been very consistent, taking bronze medals at all three circuit stages she attended in 2019, but she is not great yet. After over a decade of competing internationally, Ya-Ting still needs that first major win to push her into the upper realms of the elite.

  • World ranking: 2
  • Average arrow score: 9.20
  • Match wins: 20-5 (80%)
  • Tiebreak wins: 3-0 (100%)

Kang Chae Young, Korea

Two matches lost during the course of the year and both of them came in shoot-offs. One of those was a tiebreak for the world title – and Kang Chae Young’s arrow wasn’t good. Despite finishing second in ’s-Hertogenbosch, she’s been the best archer this year. Can she right the wrong of the worlds?

  • World ranking: 1
  • Average arrow score: 9.40
  • Match wins: 27-2 (93%)
  • Tiebreak wins: 2-2 (50%)

Tomomi Sugimoto, Japan

Heading into Olympic season, Japan quietly has a top-five archer. Sugimoto didn’t win anything this year but has been there-or-thereabouts, finishing with bronze in Medellin and silver in Shanghai.

  • World ranking: 3
  • Average arrow score: 9.14
  • Match wins: 12-4 (75%)
  • Tiebreak wins: 1-2 (33%)

An Qixuan, China

At four events, including the world championships, in 2019, An Qixuan did not finish outside the top eight once. But she only made it further than the quarterfinals once, too, in Berlin. There are only eight archers in Moscow.

  • World ranking: 6
  • Average arrow score: 9.05
  • Match wins: 13-7 (65%)
  • Tiebreak wins: 1-2 (33%)

Zheng Yichai, China

Although not as consistent as compatriot An Qixuan, it was Zheng Yichai that took medalled in 2019 – winning the stage of the international tour in Antalya.

  • World ranking: 4
  • Average arrow score: 9.05
  • Match wins: 19-5 (79%)
  • Tiebreak wins: 5-1 (83%)

Ksenia Perova, Russia

The 2017 World Archery Champion is known for gritty wins – not always shooting 10s, but beating whoever is in front of her. She qualified for the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final on merit – not on a host invitation.

  • World ranking: 7
  • Average arrow score: 9.03
  • Match wins: 15-7 (68%)
  • Tiebreak wins: 4-2 (67%)

Melanie Gaubil, France 

It’s now five years since Gaubil finished second at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing, China. At twenty-one years of age, she took her first senior podium. The silver in Medellin is what’s qualified her for Moscow – and a first career Hyundai Archery World Cup Final appearance.

  • World ranking: 12
  • Average arrow score: 8.89
  • Match wins: 10-6 (63%)
  • Tiebreak wins: 2-0 (100%)

Sayana Lee, Russia

We knew her as Sayana Tsyrempilova. She’s married – and now it’s Sayana Lee. (She speaks Korean, too.) Russia’s host representative in Moscow gave the best individual performance of her career to date when she took silver at the stage in Antalya in 2019.

  • World ranking: 17
  • Average arrow score: 8.91
  • Match wins: 18-6 (75%)
  • Tiebreak wins: 0-1 (0%)

The 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final takes place on 6-7 September in Moscow, Russia.