Korean team will not shoot Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2021

Kim Woojin shoots during finals at the Hyundai World Archery Championships in 2019.

Korea, archery’s leading nation, has announced it will not shoot at any of the three stages of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup, all scheduled before the Olympic Games, due to ongoing travel restrictions caused by the pandemic.

Head coach Park Chaesoon indicated that the firm 14-day hotel quarantine currently in effect for travellers entering Korea would also apply to any archers returning after a competition. This would effectively mean the team couldn’t train for two weeks after international events, an unacceptable situation for a team with high Olympic aspirations.

Known for meticulous team planning, the Korean management has made an early decision on the stages in Lausanne in May and Paris in June, focusing fully on its preparations for the upcoming Games in Tokyo.

“It’s a real bummer,” said world number one and reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Kang Chae Young. “It would have been a good opportunity to strengthen our team for the upcoming Olympics.”

Korea’s trials for Tokyo 2020 are due to be completed in the next few days.

The nation secured a full six-archer quota at the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch – and only needs to select the athletes who will fill those spaces.

There is potential for a world-ranking event to take place in the Korean city of Gwangju in June if restrictions allow for it. If not, the first time we’ll see the presumptive favourites in international action is at the Olympics themselves.

Despite not shooting at any of the stages, there’s still a chance that Kang Chae Young may defend her title at this year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Final as, for the first time ever, the individual Olympic Champions will also win invitations to the season-ending event.

It’s going to be a strange year ahead.

The first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup starts on Tuesday with qualification in Guatemala City.

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