Healey’s Antalya win pushes her to world number one

Penny Healey shoots final against Elina Idensen at Antalya 2023.

For the second straight season, a British recurve woman won the Hyundai Archery World Cup season opener in Antalya.

Last year, it was Bryony Pitman. This year – 18-year-old Penny Healey.

The Shropshire native’s straight-set victory over surprise German finalist Elina Idensen on Sunday not only brought a career tournament result but also propelled Healey to number one in the Sanlida World Archery Rankings.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s a lot to process but I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing and try to keep it going,” she said after the new list was released on Monday.

Healey now has 248.5 ranking points to previous incumbent Katharina Bauer’s 248.25.

Having won the Indoor Archery World Series Finals after a truncated 18-metre season at the start of 2022, Penny proved that result was no fluke by making the final four at the Paris stage of the outdoor circuit last season.

This win cements her status as one of archery’s rising talents.

“Seeing I am world number one feels amazing and has motivated me even more,” said Healey, whose win in Antalya booked a slot at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

Although that victory does come with a slight caveat. Archery’s leading nation, Korea, was absent as the squad completed its own domestic trials to determine the athletes that would travel internationally in 2023.

Penny isn’t concerned.

“Last year, I beat An San,” she said. That was during eliminations in Paris. “And I took Choi Misun to a shoot-off, so I think I have potential against them.”

Olympic qualifying starts this summer at the Hyundai World Archery Championships – but competition for spots will be fierce – and there couldn’t be a better time for any team to unearth a young archer with the ability to win on the home stage.

Prior to 2023, Great Britain hadn’t had a recurve world number one in the World Cup-era. But in just the last four months, courtesy teammates Pitman and Healey, the nation has had two.

A team to watch this season.