Three storylines to watch on the Archery World Cup in 2024

Lee Woo Seok and Marcus D’Almeida at the World Cup Final in 2023.

The Hyundai Archery World Cup returns for its 18th season in 2024 with stages in Shanghai (China), Yecheon (Korea) and Antalya (Türkiye) from April to June, plus the grand finale in Tlaxcala (Mexico) in October.

Marcus D’Almeida, Kang Chae Young, Mathias Fullerton and Sara Lopez enter the year as reigning champions. But with Kang off the Korean team, we’re already guaranteed at least one new winner.

Read on for three more things to watch out for in 2024.

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1. Ridiculous run

The end to the compound women’s final in Hermosillo last year must haunt Tanja Gellenthien.

There’s no way around it – she had Sara Lopez on the ropes, a point up with three arrows left in the quiver. After the seven-time champion opened the last end with a nine and Tanja followed with a 10, the advantage blew to two, and it was over. Done. Plain sailing.

Gellenthien was about to hand Lopez her first loss at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final since Paris in 2013.

Except, then the Dane shot an eight… and the match was level.

Lopez finished well, Gellenthien dropped another, and instead of the upset of the year, we had an eight-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion.

The total number of wins is incredible. But in a sport where it is so difficult to manufacture consistent victories – Lopez has won eight of nine finals, but just 11 of the 39 stages in which she has competed – how much longer can Sara retain this crown?

Forever, if nobody takes it from her.

2. Beatable?

The Olympics are important in 2024. And one of the biggest storylines at Paris 2024 is the Korean women‘s team, and their campaign for a 10th consecutive title at the Games.

We won’t find out the Korean line-up until just before Shanghai.

But we do know it’s going to be relatively inexperienced. With reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Kang Chae Young and reigning Olympic Champion An San off the roster, the three circuit stages in Shanghai, Yecheon and Antalya will be critical warm-ups.

Confidence, after all, breeds success.

Jean Charles Valladont in 2015 and 2016.

3. Olympic coincidence

The first fact… no reigning circuit champion has ever gone on to win the Olympics. 

But in 2012, 2016, and 2020 (held in 2021), the runner-up at the Games was also runner-up at the last Hyundai Archery World Cup Final. (Dai Xiaoxiang 2011/12, Jean-Charles Valladont 2015/16 and Mauro Nespoli 2019/21).

If that holds suit for a fourth consecutive title, hand Lee Woo Seok Olympic silver right now.

And another Lee-Marcus D’Almeida rematch in the final in Paris would not disappoint.

Only one reigning Olympic Champion has won the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in the same year: Ki Bo Bae in 2012. She recently retired. The winners this summer at Les Invalides will be invited to Tlaxcala as Olympic wildcards.

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