Preview: Recurve events at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Zahra Nemati shoots at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

We’re previewing the last event of the upcoming Games in Tokyo first.

The Paralympics is not yet broadcast as widely as the Olympics – although that’s quickly changing – and archery has never been available live to rightsholders before. But for the first time at the Games, the recurve events will be. (Not on World Archery’s YouTube channel, sorry! We’re not one of them.)

This means that millions will be able to watch whether Zahra Nemati can make it three Paralympic titles in a row, the performances of emerging nations like India and Mexico, and the increasingly exciting mixed team title fight.

An impressive 30 different countries are fielding athletes in the recurve events at these Games.

Key information

What’s happening? The recurve events at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, with finals on 2-4 September 2021.

What’s at stake? Three Paralympic titles in men’s individual, women’s individual and mixed team competitions.

Who’s competing? 32 men, 24 women and 13 mixed teams.

What’s the story? Iranian archer Zahra Nemati has won back-to-back golds at the Paralympic Games. Three in a row would be historic. She has plenty of competition, not least from long-time nemesis Wu Chunyan of China.

Podium at Rio 2016

The men’s individual podium:

  1. Gholamreza Rahimi, Iran
  2. Hanreuchai Netsiri, Thailand
  3. Ebrahim Ranjbarkivaj, Iran

The women’s individual podium:

  1. Zahra Nemati, Iran
  2. Wu Chunyan, China
  3. Milena Olszewska, Poland

The mixed team podium:

  1. CHN flag China
  2. IRI flag Iran
  3. ITA flag Italy


Correct as of 19 August 2021. Nations in bold also compete in the mixed team event.

  • AUS flag Australia: 2 (1 man, 1 woman) – Taymon Kenton-Smith, Imalia Oktrinida
  • BHU flag Bhutan: 1 (1 man) – Rigsel Pema
  • BRA flag Brazil: 2 (1 man, 1 woman) – Alves Roca Heriberto, Fabiola Dergovics
  • CHN flag China: 4 (2 men, 2 women) – Wang Sijun, Zhao Lixue, Gao Fangxia, Wu Chunyan
  • COL flag Colombia: 1 (1 woman) – Maria Daza
  • CZE flag Czech Republic: 1 (1 man) – Kostal Vaclav
  • FRA flag France: 1 (1 man) – Guillaume Toucoullet
  • GBR flag Great Britain: 2 (1 man, 1 woman) – David Phillips, Hazel Chaisty
  • GER flag Germany: 1 (1 man) – Maik Szarszewski
  • GRE flag Greece: 1 (1 woman) – Dorothea Poimenidou
  • IND flag India: 2 (2 men) – Harvinder Singh, Chikara Vivek
  • IRI flag Iran: 2 (1 man, 1 woman) – Gholamreza Rahimi, Zahra Nemati
  • IRQ flag Iraq: 1 (1 woman) – Zaman Al-Saedi
  • ITA flag Italy: 3 (1 man, 2 women) – Stefano Travisani, Elisabetta Mijno, Vincenza Petrilli
  • JPN flag Japan: 3 (2 men, 1 woman) – Hasegawa Takahiro, Ueyama Tomohiro, Shigesada Chika
  • KOR flag Korea: 3 (1 man, 2 women) – Kim Min Su, Jo Jang Moon, Kim Ran Sook
  • LAT flag Latvia: 1 (1 woman) – Ieva Melle
  • MAS flag Malaysia: 1 (1 man) – Suresh Selvathamby
  • MEX flag Mexico: 1 (1 man) – Samuel Molina
  • MGL flag Mongolia: 2 (1 man, 1 woman) – Selengee Demberel, Munkbaatar Namjilmaa
  • POL flag Poland: 2 (1 man, 1 woman) – Lukasz Ciszek, Milena Olszewska
  • ROU flag Romania: 1 (1 man) – Eugen Patru
  • RAF flag RPC: 5 (3 men, 2 women) – Kirill Smirnov, Bato Tsydendorzhiev, Anton Ziapev, Svetlana Barantseva, Sidorenko
  • SLO flag Slovenia: 1 (1 man) – Dejan Fabcic
  • SRI flag Sri Lanka: 1 (1 man) – Megahamuela Gadara Sampath Bandara
  • SVK flag Slovakia: 1 (1 man) – David Ivan
  • THA flag Thailand: 2 (1 man, 1 woman) – Hanreuchai Netsiri, Phattharaphon Pattawaeo
  • TUR flag Turkey: 4 (2 men, 2 women) – Vedat Aksoy, Sadik Savas, Zehra Ozbey, Yagmur Sengul
  • UKR flag Ukraine: 1 (1 woman) – Roksolana Dzoba-Baylan
  • USA flag USA: 3 (2 men, 1 woman) – Eric Bennett, Kevin Mather, Emma Rose Ravish


Archers competing in the recurve division at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games have an open classification, meaning they usually have impairment in either the top or bottom half or one side of their bodies.

There are individual and mixed team events. A mixed team consists of two archers, one man and one woman, from the same nation.

Recurve archers shoot over a distance of 70 metres at targets measuring 122 centimetres in diameter, aiming to hit a 10-ring measuring just 12.2 centimetres in diameter.

Archers and mixed teams are seeded on the results of qualifying, which consists of 72 arrows shot for total score on 27 August, and progress through head-to-head brackets, in which the winner of each match advances and the loser is eliminated until a champion is crowned.

Recurve matches are decided using the set system, in which the goal is to accrue a certain number of set points. The goal is six set points in individual matches and five set points in mixed team matches.

An individual set consists of three arrows and a mixed team set consists of four arrows, two per archer. The individual or nation with the highest arrow score – combined points values of all the arrows – in a set receives two set points. If the arrow scores are tied, both archers or nations receive one set point.

If an individual match is tied at 5-5 after five sets or a mixed team match tied at 4-4 after four sets, then the match is sent to a tiebreak or shoot-off.

Each archer shoots an arrow. In an individual match, the archer whose arrow lands closest to the middle of the target wins the match. In a mixed team match, the nation that has the highest score with its two arrows wins the match but, if tied, victory goes to whichever nation has an arrow closer to the middle of the target.