Gwangju: 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup Stage 2 Wrap-up
After a break of 15 years, the international tour returned to one of the biggest archery nations in the world, Korea.
The event also marked the first top-level event in the Asian country since the 2009 World Archery Championships.
The world’s best in one place
Expectations were high going into the event, the first 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup stage of the year to feature athletes from Brazil, Iran, Japan, Mexico and Korea.
All four world ranked number one archers confirmed their presence in Gwangju ahead of competition with Brady Ellison, Mike Schloesser, Sara Lopez and An San part of an initial group of 272 (149 men, 123 women) athletes from the 39 countries registering.
These also included two of the four individual winners from Stage 1 in Antalya: recurve man Miguel Alvarino Garcia and compounder Schloesser.
Compound women’s winner Ella Gibson did not register while recurve champion Bryony Pitman tested positive for covid on the eve of the event and did not travel.
A lot of eyes were on An San, shooting at her home field, the Gwangju Women’s University, as well as the rest of her teammates, with Ellison admitting to World Archery “…it will be good having the top guys on the circuit again.”
Marcus D’Almeida was also excited to shoot in Korea, as was Takaharu Furukawa, while Australia’s Ryan Tyack was looking to repeat his Antalya silver.
The compounders put on a show, with the world number ones Lopez and Schloesser ending top seeded in windy conditions.
It was Schloesser’s fifth Hyundai Archery World Cup stage top seed in a row, after all three stages last year and Antalya last month. World Cup stage debutant, Mexico’s Dafne Quintero, seeded third and admitted she felt “comfy” in Asia.
As expected, Korea swept the recurve qualification.
India and Korea took the first medals in Gwangju, winning their respective women’s and men’s compound bronze matches.
These were followed later in the week with Korea’s women, India’s men and Chinese Taipei’s mixed sides adding gold - the mixed event being just one of the three events the home nation did not medal in, along with compound men’s individual and recurve mixed.
Korea’s men and women won both of their recurve team finals, pushing Italy and Germany into silver respectively. Spain’s men and India’s women won bronze earlier in the week.
On the second edition of the Archery Show, World Cup Stage 1 winner Pitman told us she thought Choi Misun would win gold after the Korean had made the final fours.
Pitman would prove to be right as Misun struck gold, joining teammate Kim Woojin as the top recurve individual.
In the compound, Schloesser won his second consecutive circuit stage and Kim Yunhee made history, becoming the first Korean woman to win a blue-riband event on home soil. It was Schloesser’s eighth career World Cup stage win.
What it means
The results meant that Misun, Woojin and Yunhee qualified directly for the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Mexico where they will join the already-qualified Schloesser, Pitman, Alvarino Garcia and Gibson.
It also meant that the World Rankings changed, with Ellison losing his world number one spot, a rank he had held since June 2019, to Woojin and Mete Gazoz.
Lopez, San and Schloesser maintained theirs.
Next month will see the circuit move to the host city of the 2024 Olympic Games, Paris.
Individual champions: Gwangju 2022
- Recurve men: Kim Woojin, Korea
- Recurve women: Choi Misun, Korea
- Compound men: Mike Schloesser, Netherlands
- Compound women: Kim Yunhee, Korea
Team champions: Gwangju 2022
- Recurve men: Korea (Kim Je Deok, Kim Woojin, Lee Woo Seok)
- Recurve women: Korea (An San, Choi Misun, Lee Gahyun)
- Recurve mixed: Germany (Katharina Bauer, Felix Wieser)
- Compound men: India (Rajat Chauhan, Aman Saini, Abhishek Verma)
- Compound women: Korea (Kim Yunhee, Oh Yoohyun, Song Yun Soo)
- Compound mixed: Chinese Taipei (Huang I-Jou, Chen Chieh-Lun)
Medal table: Gwangju 2022
- Korea: 9 (6 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze)
- India: 5 (1 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze)
- Germany: 2 (1 gold, 1 silver)
- = Chinese Taipei: 2 (1 gold, 1 bronze)
= Netherlands: 2 (1 gold, 1 bronze)
- (No fifth place due to equal 4th)
- Estonia: 2 (2 silver)
- Spain: 3 (1 silver, 2 bronze)
- United States of America: 2 (1 silver, 1 bronze)
- = France: 1 (1 silver)
= Italy: 1 (1 silver)
- (No 10th place due to equal 9th)
- Mexico: 1 (1 bronze)
Athletes representing 11 countries collected 30 medals across 10 events in Gwangju.