Final fours: Contenders take on big favourites for Lausanne titles

A target during the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne.

By the end of this weekend, we will be officially halfway through the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup season – with two events completed and two more to go – and have eight archers qualified for the season-ending invitational.

It was announced earlier in May that the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final will take place in the Yankton hub.

Atanu Das, Deepika Kumari, Braden Gellenthien and Nora Valdez qualified as stage winners at stage one in Guatemala City in April. Four more will join them over the next two days of finals in Lausanne.

The men’s events have clear favourites – Brady Ellison and Mike Schloesser – but the women’s final fours are wide open.

And while this preview focuses on the individual events, the team medal matches feature some important showcases, especially with the final Olympic qualifier looming next month. All four of the teams in the recurve title bouts have yet to qualify the full three athletes for the Games. Whoever grabs the golds in Lausanne will be viewed as favourites in Paris.

The final fours are listed below in match order. The first two archers face each other in the first semifinal, the second two in the second semifinal. Each archer’s seeding at this event is given in brackets.

Final four: Compound women at Lausanne 2021.

Compound women

The final at the season opener in Guatemala City was great. Tanja Gellenthien and Nora Valdez went the length – and then some, the latter taking gold, and winning the ticket to this year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, with an incredible shoot-off arrow.

Tanja’s into her second final four in a row in Lausanne. Will she finally get over the hump and win an international gold?

Reigning World Archery Champion Natalia Avdeeva will, no doubt, make that task tough – as will 2021-edition Andrea Marcos, the reigning European Champion, and USA-version Linda Ochoa-Anderson, with her first shot at a medal since the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in 2018.

This is probably the most balanced quartet of the weekend.

Who’s the favourite? Tanja Gellenthien

Compound men

Let’s get this out the way early: Mister Perfect is expected to win.

The reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion qualified top in Lausanne and, having finished runner-up one month ago in Guatemala City, is hungry to stamp a stage winner’s ticket to the season-ending final in Yankton. (He’s almost certainly qualified on points anyway, by the way.)

Pagnoni won silver at a stage of this tour in Shanghai in 2018. It’s easy to forget Italian compound names behind Sergio Pagni’s – but Federico is Schloesser’s most experienced opponent … if not the most dangerous.

Gontier and Fullerton, who is only 17 years of age, are making their Hyundai Archery World Cup debuts in Lausanne. We’ve had rookie winners before and, unless favourite Schloesser remains on his game, we may very well have one again.

Who’s the favourite? Mike Schloesser

Final four: Recurve women at Lausanne 2021.

Recurve women

This is some mix. A circuit debutant in Gomboeva, whose teammate Perova was world champion just four years ago, plus an Olympic silver medallist – Unruh – and then an archer who recently found out she definitely wouldn’t be going to the upcoming Games in Tokyo.

Adiceom is the random factor in this final four.

The pressure is entirely off. There are no expectations on her results this season, having not been selected for the French (potential) Olympic team. A tangible individual result would go a long way towards paving her pathway to the future.

But Perova is the born winner.

Who’s the favourite? Ksenia Perova

Recurve men

Much like the compound men’s final four, the recurve men’s event also has a clear favourite.

Five-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Brady Ellison is searching for his ninth individual stage title – and an 11th berth at the annual season-ending event. (This is only the circuit’s 15th season.) He’s not shot the best tournament of his life, but he’s risen to every challenger so far.

Who is Yun Sanchez, and how has this first-time international made this foursome? We’ll find out on Sunday.

There have been rumblings that Weckmueller has potential, especially after a silver medal at the world-ranking event in Porec earlier in the year, while Nicholas D’Amour has been – probably prematurely – baptised the breakout archer of the year.

Others’ confidence in his potential only mirrors his own, though.

Who’s the favourite? Brady Ellison