Spain beats France in tiebreak to take a team bronze; India medals

Spain celebrate winning recurve men’s team bronze in Gwangju.

Recurve teams from Spain and India collected bronze medals on Thursday morning at the second stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Gwangju, while both top-seeded squads from Korea secured spots in the finals. The Korean men will shoot against Italy and the women will take on Germany.

Spain’s Pablo Acha, Miguel Alvarino Garcia and Daniel Castro lost to the home side in the semifinals despite a promising start. The visitors won the first set before Korea upped its game, averaging 57 points a set through the next three to clinch the match, 6-2.

In the bronze medal match, the Spanish team delivered an even bigger comeback to defeat the French squad of Thomas Chirault, Pierre Plihon and Jean-Charles Valladont.

“It was a good moment to take the medal this year. We trust in our team thinking about the next Olympic Games,” said Miguel Alvarino, the individual winner of the first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup last month in Antalya.

France would have taken a two-set lead and command of the contest had the team not shot a four in the second. The hosts of the next Olympics did win the third – but then Spain forced a tiebreak, in which they shot 29 to France’s 27.

“We only tried to focus on our work and do the same we do all the time in practice. We tried to be patient with the wind because it’s crazy here. And we believed for the best for us,” said Daniel Castro.

The Spanish team didn’t win a single match a month ago in Antalya. Having peaked in the world rankings last year, they remain a team to be reckoned with.

"We are very happy with the bronze medal but we want even more. We have to think about the next competitions. Our physical, mental and technical condition is very good and we are very confident about that,” said Pablo, who is the reigning European Champion.

The recurve women’s team bronze medal match saw India’s Komalika Bari, Ankita Bhakat and Ridhi take on Chiu Yi-Ching, Kuo Tzu Ying and Lei Chien-Ying of Chinese Taipei. India dominated, shooting a clear higher average and only surrendering one of four sets to the Taipei team (the third).

“We are very excited and happy to win that medal,” said reigning youth world champion Komalika Bari.

It’s the first team medal of the season for the Indian recurve women, who looked on par with top seeds Korea in the semifinals before a few wayward arrows sunk any chance of a finals berth.

“We had experience from the previous match. We didn’t do that well [against Korea] and in the bronze medal match, we decided to take the lead from the very beginning. It helped us a lot,” Bari explained. Two of the three matches India won came after winning the opening sets.

Ridhi, who is only 17 years old, took a mixed team gold medal in Antalya. Another Hyundai Archery World Cup stage, another podium.

"I was very confident in my team,” she said. “And it’s my first team medal. I am happy to start with bronze. I think we are the best!”

Having beaten India to a spot in the final, Korea’s recurve women have a chance to extend a phenomenal record on the circuit with a win over a surging Germany. Since 2006, the Korean squad has now appeared in 37 stages of the Hyundai Archery World Cup and secured 35 podiums – and now has a shot at a 25th win.

Competition continues in Gwangju with compound elimination matches on Thursday afternoon.

Team results: Gwangju 2022

Results as of Thursday 19 May. The gold medal matches are scheduled for Sunday 22 May.

Recurve men

  • Gold medal match: Korea versus Italy
  • Bronze medal match: Spain 5 (29) – (27) 4 France

Recurve women

  • Gold medal match: Korea versus Germany
  • Bronze medal match: India 6 – 2 Chinese Taipei