Korean compounds set two records during Asian champs qualifying

Kim Yunhee shoots during qualification at the 2021 Asian Championships.

Korea swept all 10 top seeds after qualification at the 2021 Asian Championships, including new world records for the compound mixed and women’s teams, as the sport’s leading nation looks to match or better its record nine titles from two years ago.

Former world champions Lee Seungyun and Kim Yunhee took individual poles alongside Ryoo Su Jung and Choi Yonghee.

Ryoo, who was under-18 world champion a decade ago and became the second-ever recurve to shoot 1400-plus last year, is making her debut for the Korean senior squad this week in Dhaka.

“It feels great to have a good start in my first tournament as a member of the national team,” she said. “I will do my best to follow it with good results.”

Ryoo spearheaded a Korean one-two-three-four at the top of the recurve women’s qualification leaderboard with 680 points for the 72-arrow round.

“At the beginning of the day, my condition wasn’t that good,” she said, referring to a first end in which she averaged 9.00 points compared to 9.48 the rest of the way. “I found something wrong in my posture so I corrected it right away and, fortunately, I started to recover.”

Lee Seungyun, who won the worlds in 2013, and Kim Pil-Joong had the same total as Ryoo to lead the recurve men.

Seungyun was given pole on a 10-count tiebreak, 38 to 23.

Ryoo Su Jung scores during qualifying at the 2021 Asian Championships.

Kim Yunhee (708) and Choi Yonghee (716) led compound women’s and men’s qualifying from start to finish.

Their combined score of 1424 broke the mixed team record, set by a different Korean pair at the last world championships, by three points.

“We both set personal records in competition,” said Yonghee. “But we had no idea it would also be a world record. We’re proud and honoured.”

Kim Yunhee, Song Yun Soo and Oh Yoohyun also broke the women’s team record, previously held by Colombia – and by three as well.

Afterwards, the trio expressed regret, saying they felt there was an opportunity for even more points on the field in Dhaka but that shooting, particularly aiming, during the rainy conditions was a challenge.

India seeded second in every single team event and their archers all trailed the leading Koreans in individual qualifying.

World championship runner-up Jyothi Surekha Vennam will begin compound women’s matchplay from the fourth spot, having shot 701 points, while her compatriots Rishabh Yadav and Abhishek Verma secured the third and fourth seeds in the men’s event.

Bangladesh had an impressive showing from its dangerous recurve men’s team, now third favourites for the title at the beginning of eliminations.

Competition continues at these Asian Championships with individual eliminations on Monday in Dhaka.

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