Chinese women among last-chance team qualifiers for 2024 Olympics

China recurve women’s team celebrating with coach.

China, Chinese Taipei, Great Britain and Malaysia booked Olympic quotas in the women’s team competition at the final qualifier today in Antalya, Türkiye.

Unbeaten on the Hyundai Archery World Cup so far in 2024 having beaten the reigning Olympic Champion from Korea in the final at the stages in Shanghai and Yecheon, the Chinese women were heavy favourites arriving at this tournament.

An Qixuan, Li Jiaman and Yang Xiaolei delivered, despite the heavy rain in the decisive quarterfinal.

“We are very happy. This was a very good experience,” said An after the win.

“We always have the biggest confidence in the Olympic Games,” added Yang. “But the most important thing is we do the best we can. This is the key to success.”

The trio were made to work in the conditions – but the significant gap in experience between China and their Iranian opponents was evident on the field. Yasna Pourmahani shot a three, a five and a redraw left teammate Hourieh Haji Hosseini less than two seconds to shoot, resulting in a two.

With the pressure of an Olympic appearance looming large and the top four teams securing tickets, Iran wasn’t the only team to struggle.

Malaysia’s Ariana Zairi, 18, Nurul Fazil, 20, and Tokyo Olympian Syaqiera Mashayikh, 23, trounced a crumbling Colombia in straight sets in their quarterfinal.

The Colombians, who were curiously being coached by Spanish Olympic gold medallist Juan Carlos Holgado, had upset Spain in the previous round. That magic evaporated when Valentina Acosta Giraldo missed the target completely in the second set.

“We didn’t set the bar too high but honestly, we didn’t expect to get into the Olympics,” said Zairi. “We’ve trained for this moment, and we’ve given our best.”

Thirty-nine recurve women’s teams started this morning’s competition.

Some big names – India, for one – didn’t even make the last eight for the arena.

Sitting outside the top 20 of the world rankings, Malaysia was certainly a surprise beneficiary at this final qualifier. World number seven Chinese Taipei, was not… while the fourth nation to book a ticket, Great Britain, sits somewhere in the middle.

Bryony Pitman struggled throughout the Brits’ quarterfinal match against Japan, shooting two sevens in the middle sets.

But when Pitman was called on to deliver, needing a nine to lock in the win at the end of the fourth, she put down something even better, knocking a shocked Japanese squad out of Olympic contention in 2024 – and putting Pitman, European Games Champion Penny Healey and newcomer Megan Havers into the Paris line-up.

“It feels amazing. I think I was very lucky in the first couple of sets,” said Pitman, teary-eyed and ready to admit she thought she’d cost her nation the valuable quota midway through the match. “These two shot so well and they didn’t make those mistakes.”

“I’m glad I shot a 10 when it mattered and when we needed it. I’m over the moon.”

Two final quota places in the recurve women’s tournament at the Olympics will be awarded on world ranking following next week’s Hyundai Archery World Cup stage, also taking place here in Antalya.

Competition continues at this final qualifier with the men’s team event tomorrow. Three tickets are available.

Podium: Recurve women team

  1. China (An Qixuan, Li Jiaman, Yang Xiaolei)
  2. Malaysia (Ariana Zairi, Nurul Fazil, Syaqiera Mashayikh)
  3. Great Britain (Bryony Pitman, Penny Healey, Megan Havers)

Chinese Taipei also won an Olympic quota by finishing in fourth place.

Olympic quotas won at the Final Olympic Qualifier

  • China: 3 (3 women)
  • Chinese Taipei: 3 (3 women)
  • Great Britain: 3 (3 women)

Quota tracker: 2024 Olympics

Correct as of the end of the first day of competition at the final Olympic qualifier.

  • Argentina: 1 (1 man)
  • Australia: 2 (1 man, 1 woman)
  • Austria: 1 (1 woman)
  • BRA flag Brazil: 2 (1 man, 1 woman)
  • CAN flag Canada: 2 (1 man, 1 woman)
  • CHA flag Chad: 2 (1 man, 1 woman)
  • CHI flag Chile: 1 (1 man)
  • CAN flag China: 4 (1 man, 3 women)
  • TPE flag Chinese Taipei: 4 (1 man, 3 women)
  • COL flag Colombia: 4 (3 men, 1 woman)
  • CZE flag Czech Republic: 1 (1 woman)
  • EGY flag Egypt: 2 (1 man, 1 woman)
  • Estonia: 1 (1 woman)
  • Fiji: 1 (1 woman)
  • FRA flag France: 6 (3 men, 3 women)
  • GER flag Germany: 4 (1 man, 3 women)
  • GBR flag Great Britain: 3 (3 women)
  • IND flag India: 1 (1 man)
  • INA flag Indonesia: 2 (1 man, 1 woman)
  • ITA flag Italy: 4 (3 men, 1 woman)
  • JPN flag Japan: 4 (3 men, 1 woman)
  • KAZ flag Kazakhstan: 3 (3 men)
  • KOR flag Korea: 6 (3 men, 3 women)
  • MEX flag Mexico: 4 (3 women, 1 man)
  • MAS flag Malaysia: 3 (3 women)
  • MDA flag Moldova: 1 (1 man)
  • CAN flag Mongolia: 1 (1 man)
  • Netherlands: 4 (1 man, 3 women)
  • Puerto Rico: 1 (1 woman)
  • Slovenia: 1 (1 man)
  • RSA flag South Africa: 1 (1 man)
  • ESP flag Spain: 2 (1 man, 1 woman)
  • Tonga: 1 (1 man)
  • TUN flag Tunisia: 1 (1 woman)
  • TUR flag Türkiye: 4 (3 men, 1 woman)
  • Ukraine: 1 (1 man)
  • USA flag USA: 4 (1 man, 3 women)
  • US Virgin Islands: 1 (1 man)
  • UZB flag Uzbekistan: 1 (1 woman)

There are currently 39 nations qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.