Pitman first British recurve to rank world #1 in World Cup-era

Pitman shoots during finals at the opening stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya.

Korean stars Kim Woojin and An San were knocked off the top of the Sanlida World Archery Ranking when the latest lists were released earlier this week.

Taking Woojin’s place, former world champion Brady Ellison.

In place of triple Olympic gold medallist An San is 25-year-old Bryony Pitman, who has become the first British recurve archer in the World Cup-era to hold the number one spot in the world rankings.

“Getting to world number one was one of my career goals so to say I’ve done that now is amazing,” said Pitman.

“It was a great year for me in target and field and it’s nice to see the work I‘m putting in paying off.”

The calculation for the world rankings was changed to include field and indoor archery competitions, as well as outdoor, for the first time at the end of 2022.

“I’m probably one of only a handful of people at the moment that has all seven [possible] events,” continued Pitman.

“The new system works in my favour because I like shooting outdoor, indoor and especially field.”

“The rankings are still weighted towards major target events… but I think it’s important that archery who excel indoor and at field now have an opportunity to climb the ranking list, too.”

Pitman finished second at the world field championships and World Games – also a field event – in 2022, as well as collecting a break-out win at the opening stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya.

Since the launch of the outdoor circuit in 2006, two British recurve archers have made it into the top three of the world rankings. The late Simon Terry reached a career-high of second in 2009, while Alan Wills was up to third in 2008.

In the pre-World Cup-era, Larry Godfrey was ranked second in the world in 2005 – while Alison Williamson was world number one in 1999.

“We have a really strong team at the moment and an excellent group of coaches and support staff pushing us in the right direction,” said Bryony.

“There’s still work to be done but we have a lot of potential and we started to show that on the circuit last year. I’m really excited to see what we can achieve this season and over the next few years.”

Pitman is, of course, not the only British world number one at the moment.

Ella Gibson remains top of the compound women’s list, while Dutchman Mike Schloesser leads all compound men in the Sanlida World Archery Rankings.

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