Five to watch during international circuit’s return to China

Five to watch at Shanghai 2023 Hyundai Archery World Cup.

The Korean team returns to the field at this week’s second stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Shanghai, China. There’s been plenty of intrigue bubbling since stage one – when a shock four first-time winners collected individual victories.

Will we see a repeat at stage two?

With the great whites on the line, alongside the resurgent Chinese squad, back competing internationally on home soil for the first time in four years, and a host of strong Asian squads, it seems unlikely. Here are five names worth watching.

Kim Woojin at Tlaxcala 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

1. Kim Woojin

Who are they? Recurve man from Korea.

What’s the story? Four-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Kim Woojin only needs one more circuit trophy to match Brady Ellison’s count. The only way to have a shot at that? Make it to the grande finale. And the easiest path is with an early stage victory. 

What’s the goal? Win.

Vital statistics:

  • Age: 30
  • World ranking: 2
  • Best result: Three-time World Archery Champion.
  • Instagram: @woojin_kim_00
An San at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

2. An San

Who are they? Recurve woman from Korea.

What’s the story? Tokyo’s undeniable star, An San won her first major event since those Olympics when she took the title in Tlaxcala at last year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Final. It wasn’t easy. She went the distance in all three matches there – a far cry from the relatively smooth sailing she faced at the Games. Time for a return to winning ways?

What’s the goal? Make a splash.

Vital statistics:

  • Age: 22
  • World ranking: 5
  • Best result: Triple Olympic gold medallist in Tokyo.
  • Instagram: @kim._.san2021
Elisa Roner at Antalya 2023 Hyundai Archery World Cup.

3. Elisa Roner

Who are they? Compound woman from Italy.

What’s the story? Hot off her first final four in Antalya – and becoming Indoor Archery World Series Champion back in February – Roner’s started to translate her 18-metre success to the 50-metre range. It’s been years since Italy’s had a bone fide contender in the category.

What’s the goal? Upgrade the bronze from stage one.

Vital statistics:

  • Age: 20
  • World ranking: 11
  • Best result: Reigning Indoor Archery World Series Finals Champion.
  • Instagram: @elisaroner
Kris Schafs at Yankton 2021 Hyundai World Archery Championships.

4. Kris Schaff

Who are they? Compound man from the USA.

What’s the story? There’s buzz around Schaff – a former circuit champion – coming into 2023. He won the Vegas Shoot, which is a pretty big deal for compounders, and he’s training full-time with Brady Ellison in Montana these days. Those two are the only two archers from the US in Shanghai. Match made in heaven?

What’s the goal? Podium.

Vital statistics:

  • Age: 30
  • World ranking: 13
  • Best result: Hyundai Archery World Cup Final Champion in 2018.
  • Instagram: @kris.schaff.archery
Penny Healey at Antalya 2023 Hyundai Archery World Cup.

5. Penny Healey

Who are they? Recurve woman from Great Britain.

What’s the story? Stage one winner and the new world number one – at just 18 years of age. Healey’s proven, now, that she’s no one-hit-wonder, having won the Indoor Archery World Series Finals in 2022, made her first arena appearance outdoors last year in Paris, and taking her first title last month in Antalya.

What’s the goal? Final four.

Vital statistics:

  • Age: 18
  • World ranking: 1
  • Best result: Stage one winner in Antalya.
  • Instagram: @penny_healey_archer

Competition in Shanghai begins with compound qualifying on Tuesday.