French snap Korean grip on recurve team titles at youth world champs

French archer shoots during the recurve under-18 men’s team final in Limerick.

France’s Baptiste Addis, Jules Pedoux and Alexis Renaudineau upset Korea’s monopoly over the recurve team events at the 2023 World Archery Youth Championships, taking the under-18 world title after a nail-biting fourth set in windy Limerick.

Korean squads won the other three competitions decided on Friday: the under-21 men, and both under-21 and under-18 women.

But given the chance to complete the sweep, Choi WooseokChoi Chuljun and Ji Yechan came up short. It was a big ask in the conditions – the trio needed 29 points from their last three arrows. Wooseok’s first nine dropped the only spare point. Then Chuljun shot a two.

Result: France world champions.

“We kept it together as a team,” said 17-year-old Pedoux. “We kept it together when we were struggling and managed to fight against it and find our way into the 10.”

Their dark blue jerseys battling against blustering winds, not even an opening-set three from Renaudineau was insurmountable for France. Addis delivered a near-perfect shot to grab the early lead – and timely arrows as the wind soothed kept the squad in contention.

“It’s super cool to win that gold medal with the French jersey,” added Addis, who at 16 will enter Sunday’s individual eliminations as the top seed. “It gives us experience to hopefully getting the same with this team in the future, in the national team, as adults.”

Neither of the two women’s finals was stressful for the Korean line-up.

The under-21s dropped another French team in straight sets, often waving at the cameras as they waited for score confirmations in between sets. Oh Yejin, Seo Boeun and Yeom Hyejeong might even have had fun in the wind.

“Hopefully I get another chance in the Olympic Games in the future,” said Seo afterwards.

And though China had a chance to upset the under-18s, too many wild shots torpedoed the campaign. All three members of the team shot a four or worse, handing Kim Haeun, Yu Seulha and Yun Soohee a rather easy one.

The most amusing moment of the afternoon came in the recurve under-21 women’s bronze medal match – an upset win by Poland – when China’s Qiu Muyan lost her hat to a particularly aggressive squall.

But by the time the last final of the day had arrived, another China versus Korea bout, you’d have thought the wind had dissipated judging by the scores on the board. It hadn’t. But Lee Jeonghan, Song Injun and Won Jonghyuk made it look easy, shooting a set-high for the day of 58 points to open.

The weather-related magic-or-tragic scoring quickly returned, and the Koreans ultimately needed a gritty full four sets to win, 5-3.

“We trust and die for each other,” said Won, dramatically. “So it’s a good result for the team.”

Song then admitted in a rather-unKorean manner that all three were in Limerick for the individual title, not only the team. That competition will take place on Sunday – but first up at these youth championships, compound day on Saturday.

Recurve team podiums: Limerick 2023

Full qualification results are available on the event page.

Recurve men team (under-21)

  1. Korea (Lee Jeonghan, Song Injun and Won Jonghyuk)
  2. China (Aierdengsang, Li Mengqi and Qin Wangyu)
  3. Japan (Funahashi Yuya, Kawasaki Yota and Saito Fumiya)

Recurve men team (under-18)

  1. France (Baptiste Addis, Jules Pedoux and Alexis Renaudineau)
  2. Korea (Choi Wooseok, Choi Chuljun and Ji Yechan)
  3. India (Agastay Singh, Ujjwal Dhama and Goldi Mishra)

Recurve women team (under-21)

  1. Korea (Oh Yejin, Seo Boeun and Yeom Hyejeong)
  2. France (Amélie Cordeau, Caroline Lopez and Victoria Sebastian)
  3. Poland (Barbara Grzybek, Aleksandra Ozdoba and Klaudia Plaza)

Recurve women team (under-18)

  1. Korea (Kim Haeun, Yu Seulha and Yun Soohee)
  2. China (Bao Yijing, Li Sihan and Zhu Jingyi)
  3. Chinese Taipei (Chiang Yu Tung, Fong You Jhu and Lin Shu-Yan)