Lee Woo Seok, Kang Chae Young lead Korean recurve sweep at Asian Championships

World number one Kang Chae Young beat Zheng Yichai and Lee Woo Seok defeated teammate Kim Woojin to take the individual gold medals as Korea swept the recurve titles at the 2019 Asian Archery Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.

“I think this has been the best year in my archery career, but at the same time I feel there is something that needs to be improved still,” said Chae Young.

The 23-year-old has been, almost exclusively, the best recurve woman throughout competitions in 2019. She won the two stages of the Hyundai Archery World Cup she attended and the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

Chae Young did lose in the final of the Hyundai World Archery Championships. This continental title is some measure of consolation.

“At the beginning of the match I was quite nervous so I couldn’t do well with my shooting skills. Over time, it got better and better and I got the victory,” she added.

After opening with sets of 27 and 28 points, Kang delivered a triplet of 29s to reverse a 3-1 deficit into a 7-3 victory.

Korean teammates Lee Woo Seok and Kim Woojin faced each other in the recurve men’s final in what was a rematch of the final of the last Asian Games in Jakarta in 2018. Woojin won that title.

The pair had five international bouts on their record before this tournament, with Woo Seok winning three of those – including the last two.

“Definitely, Kim Woojin is the world’s best archer at the moment. Even though he’s my teammate and we know each other very well, I was so nervous before the competition,” said Lee.

The pair traded set points, evenly matched, until the end of the fourth.

Woo Seok closed with a perfect 30. Woojin had two 10s and one on the line, high and right. It was called out – and Woo Seok took gold, 6-4.

“I did what I needed and I won the title. I’m quite proud of myself,” he said. “It’s actually a big thing for me because this is the last international event of 2019 and could be a good thing to prepare for 2020. It means a lot.”

World number three Lee Woo Seok ends the year having met and beaten his world-number-two-ranked teammate Kim Woojin three times in international competition.

Korea’s teams defeated DPR Korea (recurve men), China (recurve women) and Chinese Taipei (recurve mixed) to complete a gold-medal sweep in the recurve competitions.

Earlier in the week, Atanu Das beat Oh Jin Hyek in a double-arrow shoot-off – 10 and X10 to 10 and 10 – to finish third in the recurve men’s event. China’s Cao Hui took recurve women’s bronze.

Athletes competing under a neutral flag due to the suspension of the Indian federation took all three team bronze medals.

The 2019 Asian Archery Championships take place on 22-28 November in Bangkok, Thailand.

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