Korea celebrates as Kim Woojin and Choi Misun ensure home dominance

Kim Woojin at Gwangju 2022 after securing individual gold

Kim Woojin and Choi Misun were crowned individual recurve champions at the second stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Gwangju this afternoon, becoming the first Korean winners on the circuit since 2019 and booking tickets to this year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Tlaxcala.

“I’ve won several medals, but this is really special to me because it is on home ground here and Korea has not actually won a medal on home soil,” said Woojin. “I am very, very happy and it's been a long time since we’ve been in Korea.”

Both individual finals were all-Korean affairs in a festival-like atmosphere as the circuit ended a week of celebration having returned to archery’s leading nation for the first time in 15 years. Crowds of excited home fans watched fabulous performances on a super Sunday for the home nation as the Korean recurvers won four of the five gold medals on offer in Gwangju, following wins in the recurve men’s and women’s team events this morning.

The recurve men’s gold medal match saw two archers who had joined forces in the morning for team gold go up against each other.

Reigning World Archery Champion Kim Woojin delivered an outstanding performance, with his last arrow a perfect 10 as he captured the win, defeating Lee Woo Seok, 7-1. His last arrow was the last arrow of the event, shot by an archer from Korea and landing plumb centre.

A perfect Korean finish.

“It was really great to end that match with such a high score,” said Woojin, who never dropped more than a point in each of the four sets of the final. “I feel like both myself and Woo Seok shot well, so our audience probably had a good time watching.”

“Now that I have won the World Cup here, I do have a ticket to the World Cup Final, so I really do hope that I can do well,” he said. The three-time world champion has also accrued three circuit tiles (2012, 2017 and 2018). “It’s going to be a great competition.”

Woojin beat Rick van der Ven (6-2) while Woo Seok defeated stage one winner Miguel Alvarino Garcia (7-3) in the semifinals.

Miguel then sealed his second consecutive medal on the circuit, beating Rick in four sets in the bronze medal match.

Choi Misun at Gwangju 2022

In the recurve women’s final, Choi Misun powered back after dropping the first set to teammate Lee Gahyun, 27-26, to beat the newcomer in four after closing with sets of 29, 29 and 30 points.

The 25-year-old books her spot for Tlaxcala, where she will join stage one winnerBryony Pitman.

The last time the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final took place in Mexico, back in 2015, it was Choi Misun who took the title.

Both Choi and Lee had beaten Chinese Taipei archers to reach the final. They also shot together in the morning for team gold.

“When I first shot with the archer from Taipei I was a little bit nervous but when I was able to shoot the match against Gahyun from my own country, I was able to shoot much more comfortably and I'm really happy with the results,” explained Misun.

“It was really great to have the fans behind me. They really gave me some strength and whenever I heard my name it really, really gave me some strength. I was very happy to have a lot of fans here.”

The gold was the first individual Hyundai Archery World Cup stage win for Misun since 2016 and first medal since 2017.

“To be able to get two gold medals, I'm just really happy. I did a good job in the end,” she concluded, smiling.

The recurve women’s bronze medal went to Chiu Yi-Ching, who beat her teammate, Kuo Tzu Ying, 6-2.

In total, the host nation won six of the 10 gold medals on offer this week.

The next stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup stage will be held in Paris in June, while Gwangju will host the 2025 World Archery Championships.

Podiums: Gwangju 2022

Check full results on the World Archery website.

Recurve men

  1. Kim Woojin, Korea
  2. Lee Woo Seok, Korea
  3. Miguel Alvarino Garcia, Spain

Recurve women

  1. Choi Misun, Korea
  2. Lee Gahyun, Korea
  3. Chiu Yi-Ching, Chinese Taipei