Beginners guide to the 2023 Hyundai World Archery Championships
This article was last updated on Monday 31 July 2023.
The German capital of Berlin hosts the 52nd Hyundai World Archery Championships in 2023, with 10 individual, team and mixed team world champion titles as well as the first quota places for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at stake.
Kim Woojin, Nico Wiener and Sara Lopez return to defend their world titles, while the recurve women’s event will crown a new champion as Jang Minhee has not made the Korean top team again since winning archery’s biggest event in 2021.
The two reigning Olympic Champions, Mete Gazoz and An San, as well as the four current world number ones – Marcus D’Almeida, Penny Healey, Mike Schloesser and Ella Gibson – are all on the entry list for Berlin.
As so has often been the case since the country made its major archery debut at the championships held in this very city, on this very field, 44 years ago, Korea dominated the recurve events two years ago in Yankton, taking all five golds.
But what will happen this time around? The reduced number of quota places available at the worlds means the pressure is higher than ever – especially on the sport’s leading nation.
What’s happening? The 52nd edition of the Hyundai World Archery Championships, and primary qualifier for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, on 1-6 August 2023 in Berlin, Germany.
What’s at stake? Ten world champion titles and the first 24 tickets to the Olympics.
Who’s competing? A total of 537 archers – 304 men and 233 women – from 82 countries, with 329 competing in the recurve and 208 in the compound events.
What’s the story? The championships matter – and two years ago, the worlds were held in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. No such travel restrictions and no such difficulty preparing for Berlin this time around. And that’s an extremely good thing, considering there are Olympic quota places up for grabs. But compared to four years ago in Den Bosch, there are far fewer. The number of teams that qualify to the Games at the worlds has reduced from eight to just three. A huge ask, for every nation.
- Tuesday 1 August: Qualifications
- Wednesday 2 August: Team eliminations
- Thursday 3 August: Individual eliminations
- Friday 4 August: Team finals
- Saturday 5 August: Compound finals
- Sunday 6 August: Recurve finals
How to watch
Coverage of the Hyundai World Archery Championships is being shown worldwide by broadcast partners. The following sessions are being streamed on World Archery’s YouTube channel and via the Olympic Channel in certain territories.
- Live: Compound team finals – 4 August at 08h00 UTC
- Live: Recurve team finals + Olympic qualifying – 4 August at 12h00 UTC
- Live: Compound women finals – 5 August at 08h00 UTC
- Live: Compound men finals – 5 August at 12h00 UTC
- Live: Recurve women finals + Olympic qualifying – 6 August at 08h00 UTC
- Live: Recurve men finals + Olympic qualifying – 6 August at 12h00 UTC
Live scores will be available on the World Archery website, and there will be coverage on World Archery’s digital platforms throughout the competition.
There are 24 quota places available for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games in Berlin, 12 per gender. Nine of those will be awarded in the team competitions – to the three teams that climb the podium – and then three in the individual competitions.
Theoretically, the top three individual finishers should win quota places. But if a country that has already won a team quota finishes on the individual podium, then the place rolls down to the next nation that doesn’t already have a quota.
Countries can’t win more than three spaces overall, or more than one space in the individual event.
1) What if? Korea doesn’t win its quota places. For context, the last time the Korean recurve men’s team finished off the podium was in 2013, while the women last didn’t medal in 1999. But Korea not winning tickets in Berlin is possible. They’ve practised hard, and a replica of the world championship stadium was constructed at the national training centre – an honour usually reserved for the Olympics. After such investment, anything less than a medal for either team would be a difficult thing to swallow.
2) India. If there’s any year that the Indian compounders have ever looked likely to win a senior world title, it’s this year. So much success for the youth squad in Limerick a few weeks ago, so many medals on the Hyundai Archery World Cup already this season. Maybe it’s not Jyothi Surekha Vennam who finally brings it home, but after a bronze in 2019 and a silver in 2021, it would be the perfect (and logical) ending to that particular story. And the start of a new era for Indian archery.
3) The new generation. Penny Healey (18) and Liko Arreola (16). Two archers firmly in the youth age groups who could easily finish top of the podium in Berlin. Whether its either of them or another new face, the landscape of international archery is changing – and so are the names at the top – and a newcomer winning a world title is an almost lock. (This, of course, includes Korea’s breakout star of 2023, Lim Sihyeon, who remains unbeaten entering competition in the German capital.)
The reigning Olympic Champions are competing in Berlin:
These are the top-ranked archers shooting in Berlin (as of 31 July 2023):
- Recurve men: Marcus D’Almeida (world rank: 1)
- Recurve women: Penny Healey, Great Britain (world rank: 1)
- Compound men: Mike Schloesser, Netherlands (world rank: 1)
- Compound women: Ella Gibson, Great Britain (world rank: 1)
A total of 537 archers from the national teams of the following 82 countries are registered for this tournament: Algeria, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chad, Chile, China, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Estonia, Faroe Islands, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Guinea, Hong Kong China, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Moldova, Mongolia, Netherlands, Norway, Palestine, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Türkiye, United Arab Emirates, USA, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Vietnam and the US Virgin Islands.
Check the event page for the full list of athletes.
The recurve competitions take place over 70 metres, feature individual, mixed team and team events, and matches are decided using the set system. The compound competitions take place over 50 metres, feature individual and mixed team events, and matches are decided using cumulative scoring.
A 72-arrow qualifying round is used to rank and seed athletes (and teams) for the matchplay phase. Archers then progress through head-to-head brackets, with the winner of a match advancing and the loser eliminated, until a champion is crowned.
During recurve set system matches, the goal is to accrue a target number of set points, which is six in the individual events and five in the mixed team and team events. Individual archers shoot sets of three arrows, mixed teams (pairs) sets of four arrows (two each), and teams (three athletes) sets of six arrows (two each). The archer or team with the highest arrow score in a set is awarded two set points, or one each for a draw.
During compound cumulative scoring matches, the goal is to accrue the highest total arrow score over a set number of arrows. Individual archers shoot matches of 15 arrows, split into five ends of three, and mixed teams shoot matches of 16 arrows, split into four ends of four (two each).
The recurve bow is the modern evolution of traditional bows that have existed for 1000s of years. The limbs positioned at the top and bottom of the bow curve back away from the archer at each tip. This is what gives the ‘re-curve’ its name. Recurve has been the bowstyle used at the Olympic Games since archery’s reintroduction to the programme in 1972. It has featured at the World Archery Championships since its inaugural edition in 1931.
The compound bow was invented in the 1960s as a more mechanically efficient piece of archery equipment. The design uses a levering system of pulleys and cables, making it faster and decidedly more accurate than other types of bow. Archers also use mechanical release aids and magnified sights. Compound was added to the World Archery Championships in 1995.
Competition at the 2023 Hyundai World Archery Championships starts with qualification on Tuesday 1 August.