Preview: Tour returns as Gwangju hosts first Korean stage since 2007
Archery fans are in for a mouthwatering prospect next week as Gwangju welcomes the second stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup on 16-22 May. It will be the first stage of the international tour in Korea since 2007 and first top-shelf international in the country since the worlds in 2009.
All four world ranked number one archers have confirmed their presence in Gwangju with Brady Ellison, Mike Schloesser and Sara Lopez appearing, alongside An San on her home field in her first stage of the international tour since winning Olympic gold last year.
In fact, the whole Korean squad are appearing at their first international event of the season following the conclusion of their legendary trials which were held on the very same field in Gwangju and which is also the venue for the 2025 Hyundai World Archery Championships.
Archers from Brazil, Iran, Japan and Mexico will also make their season debuts next week.
Korea is archery’s most successful competitive nation. It’s not often that athletes – foreign athletes, at least – get to compete in Korea. Beating the best, on their own turf, means something. There’s more at stake next week than just stage trophies and tickets. There’s pride on the line.
We can’t wait.
What’s happening? The second stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup on 16-22 May 2022 in Gwangju, Korea.
What’s at stake? Stage winners automatically book a ticket for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in October.
What’s the story? All four world number ones in Korea, at a stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup? Does it get any better than this? The talent is dripping off the registration list for Gwangju – and we’ll finally see a number of Olympic medallists in action for the first time since Tokyo 2020. Will one of them book their ticket to the circuit finale?
- Tuesday 17 May: Compound qualifying
- Wednesday 18 May: Recurve qualifying
- Thursday 19 May: Compound eliminations
- Friday 20 May: Recurve eliminations
- Saturday 21 May: Compound finals (morning – teams, afternoon – final fours)
- Sunday 22 May: Recurve finals (morning – teams, afternoon – final fours)
How to watch
Coverage of the second stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup is being shown worldwide by broadcast partners. Check local listings on CCTV (China), Claro Sports (Latin America), Eleven (Chinese Taipei), Eurosport (Europe), SpoTV (Korea and Southeast Asia), SETIndia (Indian subcontinent) and TRT (Turkey).
The event is being streamed live by the Olympic Channel in other territories.
Live scores will be available on the World Archery website, and there will be coverage on World Archery’s digital platforms throughout the competition.
On their turf
Korea hasn’t hosted a huge number of top-shelf events over the past five decades, despite fielding the best recurve team in the world for most of that time.
Elite archery really started in the country in the lead-up to the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games, where the USA’s Jay Barrs won the men’s event and the legendary Kim Soonyung led a then-record haul of three gold medals for the nation in the women’s individual, women’s team and men’s team competitions.
Since then, only the city of Ulsan has hosted a stage of the Archery World Cup in 2007 and then the worlds in 2009.
At the latter, Korea swept the four recurve golds. But 15 years ago, when the international circuit last visited, Korean archers were prevented in the clean sweep by Chinese Taipei’s Wang Cheng-Pang, who took the men’s gold.
“From primary school to university, even after graduation, they provide excellent training facilities and environment for archers,” he said recently. “I was so happy that I could stand out from all those excellent archers. It was such an honour to win that prize.”
Will anyone claim that honour in 2022?
Arriving in Gwangju, the following archers are already qualified for the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Tlaxcala:
- Recurve men: Miguel Alvarino, Spain (stage winner)
- Recurve women: Bryony Pitman, Great Britain (stage winner)
- Compound men: Mike Schloesser, Netherlands (stage winner)
- Compound women: Ella Gibson, Great Britain (stage winner)
These were the winners of the last stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup held in Asia (Shanghai) back in 2019:
- Recurve men: Lee Woo Seok, Korea
- Recurve women: Kang Chae Young, Korea
- Compound men: Braden Gellenthien, USA
- Compound women: So Chaewon, Korea
These are the top-ranked archers competing at the second stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup:
- Recurve men: Brady Ellison, USA (world rank: 1)
- Recurve women: An San, Korea (world rank: 1)
- Compound men: Mike Schloesser, Netherlands (world rank: 1)
- Compound women: Sara Lopez, Colombia (world rank: 1)
A total of 272 (149 men, 123 women) athletes from the following 39 countries are registered to compete at the tournament: Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Great Britain, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Luxembourg, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Slovakia, Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Uganda, USA and the US Virgin Islands.
Competition at the second stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup starts with compound qualification on Tuesday.