Casey Kaufhold and Kim Woojin lay down Olympic markers on Paris venue

Casey Kaufhold celebrates World Cup gold in Paris with opponent Lisa Barbelin.

Casey Kaufhold laid down an Olympic marker by beating home favourite Lisa Barbelin to claim her first-ever individual Hyundai Archery World Cup gold at this season’s fourth stage in Paris.

A thrilling recurve women’s final between the two left-handers went down to the wire, with the US archer responding to losing the first set by taking the next two with scores of 28 and 29.

Roared on by a raucous Parisian crowd, Barbelin levelled matters in the fourth to set up a decider, in which Kaufhold came out on top 29-27 to seal a 6-4 victory.

“It’s kind of crazy and very emotional for me,” the 19-year-old said. “It was one of the loudest matches I’ve ever shot in.”

“It was a great match, it was cool to hear everyone cheering for her and she shot really well. It was a great day of archery overall.”

Kaufhold’s success came on a finals day doubling up as an official Olympic test event, which the American hopes will prove a good omen come next summer.

“It feels really good to have won gold on this stage, knowing Olympics will be here next year,” she added.

Kim Woojin became the first Korean man to win a recurve men’s individual World Cup gold this season in the very last match of the day, which ended the race for tickets to September’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Mexico.

Casey Kaufhold in action in Paris

Paris has always smiled on Kaufhold. USA got their spots for the Tokyo Games on her first time in the French capital and she won her first World Cup mixed team gold there in 2022.

“To win individual feels really good and I’m hoping to keep my Paris streak going into next year,” she said.

Choi Misun was beaten by Kaufhold in the semifinals but recovered to win bronze, beating Hai Ligan 7-3 after backing up three scores of 28 with back-to-back 29s.

Choi’s first World Cup medal of the season is not enough to qualify her for the Final in Hermosillo, however, as Lim Sihyeon and Kang Chae Young will be the Korean representatives in the recurve women’s individual competition.

Lim qualifies as a stage winner, with Kang’s points total superior to Choi’s across the campaign.

Kim Woojin will be part of Korea’s line-up in Mexico after winning recurve men’s gold, with Lee Woo Seok also joining the end-of-season highlight on points.

Kim Woojin celebrates victory in Paris

The 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final winner, ensured he will be present to defend his crown by beating compatriot Lee in straight sets in the gold medal match.

After taking the opener, a perfect 30 was enough for Kim to stretch his lead in the second set.

Needing a 10 with his final shot in the third, he just about managed it with an arrow which needed a lengthy review before being adjudged within the line to seal the victory with two sets to spare.

“It was a lucky day for me,” Kim said. “I shot many on the line, but I am really satisfied with the result.”

“I haven’t shown perfect matches throughout this season so I was a bit disappointed, but for this match I showed everything.”

All indicators are green for Woojin ahead of the Asian Games in September and aiming at a first individual Olympic crown after two team gold medals in Rio and Tokyo.

“I will give it my best, and if I keep doing this, I will be on top again at the Olympics in Paris next year.”

Kim Woojin in action in Paris

Lee will join his fellow Korean in Hermosillo, as will Marcus D’Almeida, who won bronze in Paris.

D’Almeida’s Final spot was already secure through his stage victory in Shanghai and having been beaten by Lee in his semifinal in Paris, the Brazilian beat Mauro Nespoli in a shoot-off for the final place on the podium.

Nespoli, competing in his 50th career World Cup stage, started and ended with 30s to make it 5-5 after five sets but could only find a nine in the tie-break, with D’Almeida picking out the 10 to secure bronze.

The Italian’s stage victory in Medellin means he also qualifies for Mexico, along with stage winners Kim, D’Almeida and Dan Olaru, as well as Lee, Brady Ellison and Dhiraj Bommadevara on points.

The recurve finals session closed competition in Paris.

Final ranking: Recurve men

  1. Kim Woojin, Korea
  2. Lee Woo Seok, Korea
  3. Marcus D'Almeida, Brazil

Final ranking: Recurve women

  1. Casey Kaufhold, USA
  2. Lisa Barbelin, France
  3. Choi Misun, Korea