Former Olympic Champion Ki Bo Bae returns to Korean squad in 2023

Ki Bo Bae shoots in Rome.

Ki Bo Bae has made a surprise return to the Korean squad this season – despite saying last year that she was planning to retire.

This doesn’t yet mean that the 35-year-old, who is most famous for winning the London 2012 Olympic Games, will appear on the international circuit in 2023. The Korean national squad consists of eight archers in each category.

A further trials event in April – at the same time as Antalya – will decide the travelling team.

Bo Bae last represented Korea abroad in 2017, when she finished the season by winning her third career Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion trophy in Rome.

“I’m glad that I didn’t give up and did my best until the end, which led to this good result,” she told Korean media after she finished eighth on the last day of squad selections at the Gwangju International Archery Centre – which is named after her – yesterday.

She’s not the only London winner staving off retirement.

The perpetual will he, won’t he question surrounding Oh Jin Hyek’s competitive status has been extended once again. Now acting as player-coach for Hyundai Steel, the 41-year-old has booked yet another berth on the resident squad in Jincheon.

Other big names joining Ki and Oh on the recurve squads include reigning Olympic Champion An San, three-time World Archery Champion Kim Woojin, and recent regulars Kim Je Deok, Lee Woo Seok, Kang Chae Young and Choi Misun.

But Jang Minhee, who won the worlds two years ago, won’t defend her title in Berlin in August having missed the cut.

“We’ll do our best to maintain the world number one ranking at the Asian Games,” said head coach Kim Sung Hoon in a press statement. “The process of preparation is just as important as the outcome.”

Now the same size as the recurve squads – at eight – the compound line-ups feature recognisable names in Kim Jongho, So Chaewon and Song Yun Soo.

The first amateur archer to be selected for the Korean squad, Kang Donghyeon, retained his place.

Reo Wilde was recently announced as coach of Korea’s compounds, marking the first time the country has imported foreign expertise to train any of its archers.

The five-day trials in Gwangju started with 20 archers in each category. Four athletes were cut after a first day of double qualification before a gruelling four-day agenda mixing in bracket tournaments and round robins until the final squads were selected. 

Korean squad for 2023

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