Korea appoints US archer Reo Wilde as coach of compound teams

New Korean compound coach Reo Wilde.

Former world champion Reo Wilde, who represented the USA for more than two decades, will coach the Korean compound team in 2023, becoming the first foreigner to join the country’s team management.

Wilde won the World Archery Championships in 2009, was Archery World Cup Champion in the circuit’s inaugural year (2006) and took two gold medals at the World Games in 2013, when the compound event was switched to target archery. He has spent considerable time ranked as the world number one and is widely considered one of the best archers of the 2000s.

“My hope is to help build a real compound programme in Korea,” said Wilde. “A great base for the future of compound archery in the country. And to win a few medals along the way.”

The 49-year-old last appeared on the US team in 2021. He competed domestically in 2022 – and has increased his seminar activity, including holding talks in Korea. This is his first permanent coaching role.

“It just felt like a great opportunity,” added Reo.

Korea’s elite compound programme was introduced when the bowstyle was added to the Asian Games.

With an application in for compound to join the Olympic programme at LA28 and the rising popularity of the sport, Korea is investing in imported expertise to raise its competitive level.

“The organisation is really behind this and I feel there are some really good archers. I’m going to teach them little tricks and understanding of the differences between compound and recurve,” said Reo, who’s also begun learning some Korean.

“It could lead to some really great things so I’m super excited to see how it goes this year.”

Korea’s national team selection for compound archers will take place over two events, the first in March and the second in April (at the same time as the season-opening stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya).

Most archers in Korea start at a young age, as part of the school programme, and progress through the system into university and then professional teams.

But in 2022, Korea had its first national team member to have begun in the sport as an amateur. Twenty-seven-year-old Kang Donghyeon shot three stages of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2022 – Gwangju, Paris and Medellin – and, after picking up a bow in a recreational club in his 20s, is now a member of the Hyundai Steel pro team.

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