Chinese double gold as experience shows at Asia Cup in Singapore
China’s Qi Xiangshuo and An Qixuan took individual gold medals in the recurve competitions at the third leg of the 2023 Asia Cup in Singapore, as Mohammadsaleh Palizban (Iran) and Song Yun Soo (Korea) collected compound victories.
The Chinese recurve men’s and mixed squads also won but Korea’s compound results had the latter country top the medal table.
Qi, who qualified in first place individually at Bukit Gombak Stadium with a season-best 683 points, collected his first international win with the four-set win over India’s Parth Sushant Salunkhe in the recurve men’s final.
The 26-year-old, who was part of the Chinese team that took gold at the first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya this year, was lyrical about his long journey here.
“When I was a child I went to a park which had a small archery range. I was interested, bought a bow and I met my coach. I have now been in archery for 14 years and he taught me at the beginning – and now I represent China and he is the coach in charge of the recurve men’s team,” he said.
Qi and women’s winner An – who also beat an Indian archer, Ruma Biswas, in a four-set final – combined to win the mixed team competition for China, too. The pair delivered a 39-point set to break a 3-3 and claim the match.
Some 228 archers from 27 countries competed in the third and last leg of this year’s Asia Cup.
As well as the upcoming Hyundai World Archery Championships, Asian archery nations are working towards the Asian Games, the world’s largest multisport event outside the Olympics, which are taking place in October in Hangzhou, China.
Korea, the world’s most dominant archery nation, took just a single recurve medal at this Asia Cup – women’s team gold.
It’s not the first time that the Korean federation has sent a youthful squad to a continental ranking event for some much-needed international experience but we’re used to seeing a performance closer to their first-team peers, and there was some high-level opposition on this field.
Thankfully, the Korean compounds – coached by former US world champion Reo Wilde – dominated.
Song Yun Soo, the 2017 World Archery Champion, took her first individual gold since 2021.
India, who also sent a B-team to Singapore, had a good competition, proving the country’s depth has strengthened, evidenced by the seven finals, resulting in six silvers and a bronze. Korea, China and India each collected seven medals at this tournament.
And there was good news on home soil for Singapore.
The local compound mixed team, consisting of Tze Chieh Contessa Loh and Jiang Ying Eer, pushed out the Philippines, Iran, Iraq and finally Malaysia, 156-154, to take gold. The pair shot two perfect ends to open the match and looked utterly in control.
A sign that, just maybe, the big Asian archery nations may not have things all to themselves as we go deeper into the year?
Winners: Singapore 2023
See full results online.