Chinese recurves flex muscles in qualifying at Asia Cup in Singapore

PR China women's recurve team 2023

Qi Xiangshuo led China’s recurve men to sweep the top three individual seeds – and team pole – as Korea’s Jo Suhye and Oh Yoohyun, and Mohammadsaleh Palizban of Iran also topped qualifying at the third Asia Cup of 2023 in Singapore.

The Chinese recurve women’s team only trailed Korea by one point over the 72-arrow round.

Rarely do Korea's recurve teams not seed first at an international event – but China has sent its frontline first team to this tournament, while Korea has sent a youthful team with less experience. (At the upcoming Medellin Hyundai Archery World Cup, the situation will be reversed).

Regardless of the line-ups, today’s result at Bukit Gombak Stadium was a statement of intent from a nation that has already made its impact felt on this year’s Hyundai World Cup circuit – after a quiet couple of years internationally.

China missed out on Olympic medals at Rio 2016 and Tokyo 2020, and has invested heavily in archery talent on the road to Paris next year. 

Twenty-six-year-old Qi Xiangshuo has very much been a part of the Chinese men’s success so far in 2023, and his 683-point qualifying round in hot and humid conditions is a season-best.

“I feel that my overall performance today was consistent and solid,” he said, matter-of-factly. “In the second half, I had a bit of a rough start. However, I started to focus on self-adjustment, slowing down my pace and gradually stabilising. After a few adjustments, I found myself improving steadily.”

“My goal for this year is the world championships, and I hope to secure a spot in the Olympics successfully.”

Korean 18-year-old Jo Suhye, whose only previous international experience was at an Asia Cup stage in the United Arab Emirates last year, led the recurve women's recurve field with 674, a single point ahead of Jo Hanyi, also of Korea and just 15 years old. The seeding will likely set up some major Korea-China battles in the last eight of the individual competition.

Palizban’s 714-point round to top the compound men was, apparently, an Iranian national record.

“The best thing is that I managed to focus on my goal and shoot very good after nine years,” he said.

Competition in Singapore continues with eliminations on Wednesday.  

Top seeds: Singapore 2023