Expert opinions and predictions ahead of the third stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup
Antalya – done. Gwangju – done. Now it’s the turn of Paris.
Stage three of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup starts next week and we spoke to the following panel of experts for their thoughts:
- Sara Lopez, compound women’s world number one, world record holder, six-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion
- Lisa Unruh, reigning recurve women’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion
- Sjef van den Berg, retired former recurve men’s world number two with 27 circuit caps
- John Stanley, journalist
- Dean Alberga, photographer
- Vanessa Lee, journalist
1. Who impressed you in Gwangju and why?
Sara: Besides Miguel Alvarino Garcia, who obviously impressed us all and did it again in the European Championships, the Korean team overall.
They did a great job because they didn’t attend the other World Cup stages, but have kept their level. They’re working really hard, especially on the compound side. They’re already the best in the world with recurve, but in compound, they’re doing an incredible job.
Not being able to compete internationally and still winning medals is extremely impressive.
Sjef: I was impressed with Kim Woojin. I know he is always someone to look out for, but just think of how long he has been at the highest level and how he has consistently been getting podiums every year. It’s impressive he showed his class on his first real outing this year.
John: The German recurve mixed team of Bauer and Wieser pulling mixed team gold out the bag was brilliant work against a fearsome field of pairings.
Vanessa: Mike Schloesser, aka Mister Perfect, definitely impressed me in Gwangju. It’s hard enough to win one stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup and he’s won both so far this season. I hope he continues to build momentum because it's so much fun watching him shoot the way he is right now.
2. Who has had work to do ahead of Paris?
Vanessa: Korea has work to do after Gwangju. Walking down the shooting line there and feeling the tension during the mixed team rounds and compound eliminations, you could feel they weren’t satisfied with their performances. Sure, they did well in the recurve events, but they aren’t going to be satisfied with anything less than the best.
Sjef: Steve Wijler has had some work to do. I have personally seen how good he can be and what his intentions are and I am sure he will agree that this season has been a bit of a rocky start. If he can get up and running again he might well be one to watch out for later this season.
Lisa: The French recurve team has work to do and to adapt to their new coach. I really hope it pays off for them.
3. Did anyone, in particular, stand out at the Europeans in Munich?
Dean: The German recurve women’s team is having a great season. Back-to-back silvers on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit were a great start – but then taking the European title, too. It’s a huge step forward for a really very young squad.
Lisa: The recurve team from Germany stood out the most for me because they won five medals on home soil. I was also very impressed by the Swiss recurve men's team and the Slovenian recurve women’s team for winning bronze medals.
John: Germany has had quite the recurve renaissance; making four out of the five gold finals on Sunday is an incredible achievement, even if they didn’t convert every chance. But Turkey was also a big story; serious talent across both disciplines and eight medals.
4. Paris is the penultimate stage – whose window is closing?
Vanessa: In my experience, there are two types of competitors at World Cups: those that are looking to do as best as they can and those that are looking to win. That’s the difference between those who feel the pressure of making the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final and those that don’t.
Sjef: Although maybe an obvious choice, An San will be looking to get a stage win and secure a spot in the finals later this year. I would deem her one of the favourites there in Mexico – if she were to get to the finals in the first place.
John: If you’re worried about the closing window, or indeed doing anything other than focusing on the next match or the next arrow and your process, you’re doing it wrong. Opportunities come and go, you’ve just got to put yourself in the right spot at the right time to capitalise on them.
Sara: Besides me? Alejandra Usquiano and me. We are number one and number two in the ranking right now and we are not attending Paris. We then only have one last chance in Medellin – at stage four – to qualify for the World Cup Final.
I will say the girls from Mexico as well. They already have a spot for the World Cup Final, but they really want to get a second one. They are working really hard together and they're really strong. They have the same situation as us in that we don't get to all the World Cup stages. This means we always have to do our best in just two or three World Cup stages to be able to attend the World Cup Final.
Dean: Mete Gazoz has to put down a good round and final ranking in Paris to make it to the finals. With three Koreans ranked in the top eight, he might be able to move up a few spots.
5. Who will win in Paris?
Sjef: Brady Ellison, An San, Mike Schloesser and Jyothi Surekha Vennam. Even if Brady hasn’t shown his final form this year, slowly I get the idea he is finding his shot sequence back. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jyothi pulled one out of the bag – she has, historically, been very strong in matchplay.
Dean: Mike Schloesser, Song Yun Soo, Lee Woo Seok and Deepika Kumari – can she pull out a repeat of last year in her season debut?
Vanessa: I will keep it simple. I want to see Deepika at the top of the podium.
Sara: In the compound men we want to see Mike win again, but if I had to name somebody else besides him – the two guys from France: Jean-Philippe Boulch and Adrien Gontier. They started really strong in Antalya this season and they are at home. Lisell Jaatma did a great job in Korea and she wants to win so badly, you can tell.
Of course, we want to see Brady win – but Miguel is on a whole other level right now. He has so much confidence. He was always good but I think he just realised he can beat anyone, no matter who they put in his way. I really like the technique of Katharina Bauer. I heard that Deepika is coming to Paris, too – and she has a really strong heart. Plus there is An San and Laura van der Winkel, who I like the technique of, too.
Lisa: Maybe Mike will make it a triple, but it is hard to say who will win in the other divisions.
John: Mikey, of course. I mean, who’s gonna beat him? Apart from himself.