Top 3: Archers at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup

Some 240 archers from 35 countries fought for medals at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup last week in Lausanne, Switzerland. It heralded the return of many European nations to the competition circuit – and brought about the same depth of surprises that we’ve come to expect this year following the cancelled season in 2020.

Brady Ellison, of course, returned to the win column, taking the ninth stage victory of his career on the Hyundai Archery World Cup. That result felt normal, though, since Brady has been shooting at the same standard that took him to the number one spot in the world rankings in mid-2019.

One archer considered for the list but was ultimately left just off: Tanja Gellenthien.

She won her first leg of the tour but, arguably, her runner-up result in Guatemala was a more-impressive all-round performance.

Other archers very much impressed, too. Two of the three athletes listed below had breakthrough performances, while Mister Perfect simply stunned, once again, with his consistency.

Mike Schloesser shoots at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne.

3) Mike Schloesser

Who are they? Compound man from the Netherlands.

Where did they finish? Gold, a sixth stage win and a ticket to another Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

Why are they on this list? Gold in the individual compound event, gold in the mixed team competition and silver in the team competition. What a week! Still, it was Schloesser's performance in the individual final that impressed the most. You learn to expect a podium result from the Dutchman, who has now won at least one stage of the international circuit in each of the past five seasons.

Mister Perfect lived up to his name on compound Saturday. Arrow by arrow, Schloesser shot only 10s. With just one remaining, he had a perfect score of 140. His last arrow swung left into the nine-ring.

“I was so focused on making good shots that I didn’t know it was almost finished. I was like, ‘okay, just make a good shot’, and it was an okay shot,” Schloesser said of missing a perfect score by one point. And he was right, it wasn’t a bad shot. He was confident with his thumb on the trigger and he executed well. It just didn’t quite land.

Maximilian Weckmueller shoots at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne.

2) Maximilian Weckmueller

Who are they? Recurve man from Germany.

Where did they finish? Silver in his inaugural Hyundai Archery World Cup final four.

Why are they on this list? It was a special week for Weckmueller, who helped write history with teammates Florian Unruh and Johannes Maier as they delivered Germany’s first recurve men’s team gold medal at a Hyundai Archery World Cup event.

The victory only bolstered his confidence ahead of his semifinal match against Nicholas D’Amour. Weckmueller secured a final four spot after a thrilling match against Erdem Tsydypov in which they had the same score in four of the five sets. After such a dramatic victory, his ability to shoot well under pressure was firmly established, and he proved it again in the semifinals. 

But Weckmueller’s good fortune ran out against world number one Brady Ellison, who arrived in Lausanne especially motivated after a disappointing showing in Guatemala City. Max couldn’t upset Ellison in the final – but a silver medal is still worth celebrating.

Svetlana Gomboeva shoots at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Lausanne.

1) Svetlana Gomboeva

Who are they? Recurve woman from Russia.

Where did they finish? Gold in her debut on the international circuit.

Why are they on this list? She came, she saw, she conquered. Gomboeva made the most of her debut at the Hyundai Archery World Cup, even if it took her a while to get warmed up.

The 22-year-old placed 19th in the qualification round, and she trailed significantly in two of her matches leading up to the gold medal match, which she won, in straight sets, over a former world champion. It wasn’t the highest-scoring final against teammate Ksenia Perova, but matchplay is only about beating what’s in front of you – and Gomboeva did what she needed on the biggest stage.

“I am so happy that it was my first World Cup and I already won,” Gomboeva said afterwards. “It motivates me to work even more now.”

Without any doubt, she will now arrive in Antalya as one of the top medal contenders at the upcoming European Championships.