Kang Chae Young, the ‘Destroyer’ who hits it big every four years

Kang Chae Young in 2015, 2019 and 2023.


Every four years, Kang Chae Young hits big.

The now 27-year-old made her debut on the international scene in 2015 – a decade after shooting her first arrows in the Korean school system – when she announced her arrival on the world stage by collecting three gold medals in her debut in Shanghai.

She reached the summit of the sport in 2019.

It was a year of superlatives during which she won almost everything, both outdoors and indoors, including the season’s coveted recurve women’s trophy at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Moscow.

Four years on, in 2023, Kang returned to the top of the international circuit, winning the season’s grand finale once again.

It bodes well for what’s coming up…

2015: The breakthrough

Competing in her international debut at the Archery World Cup stage in Shanghai, Kang won individual, mixed team and team gold medals, becoming one of few archers to achieve such a triple.

Following that breakthrough season, she was shortlisted for World Archery’s newcomer of the year award.

2019: Athlete of the Year

The year that Kang earned her nickname… ‘The Destroyer’.

Winning back-to-back Hyundai Archery World Cup stages in Medellin and Shanghai, she climbed up to the top of the world rankings at the end of May. She also became the first recurve woman to break 690 points for the 72-arrow 70-metre qualifying round when she shot 691 at the Hyundai World Archery Championships in June, eventually finishing runner-up at the event. (So close.)

Kang was gold medallist at the Summer Universiade in July, before claiming the Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion title for the first time in September.

A continental title in November rounded off an incredibly successful (near perfect, even) year that saw her unsurprisingly named athlete of the year.

2023: Second circuit title

Although the stage wins didn’t materialise, Kang’s consistent season was capped with a second Hyundai Archery World Cup title this year, dominating the field in Hermosillo.

It was a necessary victory for the Korean women, after they collected no medals (individual or team) and no quota places (individual or team) for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games at the Hyundai World Archery Championships in Berlin.

She and the squad have another chance at the Asian Championships in November.

But before then… the even more important Asian Games in Hangzhou. Having finished third five years ago in Jakarta, she must be a favourite to reclaim the continental multisport title for Korea?

It’s Kang’s year, after all.