Lim makes perfect start in pursuit of hat-trick as Korea dominate

Lim Sihyeon of Korea smiles.

Lim Sihyeon made the perfect start in her pursuit of a third consecutive recurve gold at the fourth stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Paris, France.

The Korean recurve woman, who won individual gold on debut in Shanghai and topped the rostrum in Medellin, finished seven points clear atop qualifying in the French capital.

Her performance capped a superb start in the recurve individual events for Korea, following a one-two-three in men’s half.

“I think the qualification round is only good for the qualification and length,” said Lim. “So I try to forget about it and reset my mindset.”

Lim trailed USA’s Casey Kaufhold and France’s Lisa Barbelin at the halfway stage, but a blistering 345 carried her clear of Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia in second, and Kaufhold in third as qualification came to a close.

Barbelin was unable to maintain her early pace and slipped back to fifth, but she was still thrilled to start strongly in front of home support.

“I’m happy about what I have done today and 674 is really good,” she said. “So now I’ll focus my mind on individual matches and, of course, mixed team, and then we will see.”

And the Frenchwoman to look ahead to her home Games in a year’s time.

“It’s more special to be here one year before the Olympics. But for me the only thing I have in my mind is that in one year, my family will be right there. I’m more comfortable when they are there.”

Korea recurve men celebrate

Lee Woo Seok stormed to the stop of the standings in the men’s half, going one better than his performance in qualifying from Medellin.

He finished ahead of compatriots Kim Je Deok and Kim Woojin in the battle for top seed and will hope to use that as inspiration in his quest to secure a first World Cup stage gold since 2019.

“I tried not to be really serious about the competition, and I tried to enjoy it today,” he said. “I just wanted to be a member of the team matches, and I hope I can keep going like this in the next matches.”

New World Archery Champion – and reigning Olympic Champion – Mete Gazoz made an inconspicuous start in search of his first stage medal of the year as he placed 21st.

But there was an improvement from fifth seed Marcus D’Almeida, who says he is trying to avoid dwelling on the gold medal he won at the same venue a year ago.  

“It’s good to see the venue for the Olympic Games,” he said. “But I’m not thinking about that or about that I won last year, I’m just shooting. That’s my job.”

Action in Paris continues on Thursday with recurve team and compound individual eliminations.

Top seeds: Recurve men

  1. Lee Woo Seok, Korea – 695 (8 circuit ranking points)
  2. Kim Je Deok, Korea – 693 (7 circuit ranking points)
  3. Kim Woojin, Korea – 688 (6 circuit ranking points)
  4. Dhiraj Bommadevara, India – 686 (5 circuit ranking points)
  5. Marcus D’Almeida, Brazil – 685 (4 circuit ranking points)
  6. Atanu Das, India – 684 40 10Xs 16Xs (3 circuit ranking points)
  7. Oh Jin Hyek, Korea – 684 37 10Xs 16Xs (3 circuit ranking points)
  8. Ilfat Abdullin, Kazakhstan – 682 42 10Xs 15Xs (1 circuit ranking point)
  9. Su Yu-Yang, Chinese Taipei – 682 41 10Xs 13Xs (1 circuit ranking point)
  10. Mauro Nespoli, Italy – 682 27 10Xs 11Xs (1 circuit ranking point)

Top seeds: Recurve women

  1. Lim Sihyeon, Korea – 686 (8 circuit ranking points)
  2. Alejandra Valencia, Mexico – 679 (7 circuit ranking points)
  3. Casey Kaufhold, USA – 677 (6 circuit ranking points)
  4. Kang Chae Young, Korea – 676 (5 circuit ranking points)
  5. Lisa Barbelin, France – 674 36 10Xs 15 Xs (4 circuit ranking points)
  6. Peng Chia-Mao, Chinese Taipei – 674 36 10Xs 12Xs (4 circuit ranking points)
  7. Li Jiaman, China – 673 (2 circuit ranking points)
  8. An San, Korea – 672 33 10Xs 17Xs (1 circuit ranking point)
  9. Elia Canales, Spain – 672 33 10Xs 9Xs (1 circuit ranking points)