China’s Yang takes pole position with 673 personal best in Antalya

Yang at the target.

Yang Xiaolei made a statement during qualification at the third stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup, taking pole with a personal best of 673 points as the only recurve woman to pass 670 in Türkiye.

The Chinese squad is surging in 2024, having beaten Korea in both stage finals so far this season.

Yang, An Qixuan and Li Jiaman secured China a full quota for Paris 2024 on this permanent archery field in Antalya at the Final Olympic Qualifier over the weekend. Just days later, 23-year-old Yang has made an individual statement, too.

“We’ve practised in this venue for about 10 days. I think we are quite adapted to the environment of the whole venue,” she said.

"When we shot today, our aim was to finish today’s qualifications like training, just doing our best.”

If the Chinese women win, again, here in Antalya, they will become world number one, knocking Korea off the top spot just before a critical Olympics at which they will attempt to win a 10th consecutive gold medal in the event.

The Korean women seeded an unusual third after Nam Suhyeon shot just 647 points, coming 30th.

Lim Sihyeon, who’s won both stages so far in 2024, posted her lowest 72-arrow score of the season – 661 – as many archers appeared to struggle with the typically gusty conditions on this field.

Japan had two archers in the top eight – Waka Sonoda (665) in second and Ruka Uehara (661) in eighth.

European archers Lisa Barbelin (664) and Elia Canales (663), two of the medallists at the recent European Championships, seeded second and third. Neither is officially confirmed for their Olympic teams in Paris – France and Spain – but a result in Antalya would solidify their already strong cases. 

“I’m really happy with it,” said Barbelin “It was difficult in the beginning, in the middle of the second end but, I tried to give my best. It’s so cool to be third.”

The 24-year-old is having the season of her career ahead of a home Games.

Her 9.21 points-per-arrow average arriving in Antalya is far above her previous career best of 9.04. A result here in Türkiye, where she won the Europeans in 2021, would surely be a valuable confidence bost ahead of the circus in Paris.

Korea fared better in the recurve men’s event with Lee Woo Seok and Kim Woojin tying on 691 atop the leaderboard.

Competition continues in Antalya with recurve team eliminations on Thursday morning.

Top seeds: Antalya 2024

Full results on the event page.

Recurve men

  1. Lee Woo Seok, Korea – 691 (20 Xs)
  2. Kim Woojin, Korea – 691 (16 Xs)
  3. Dhiraj Bommadevara, India – 689

Twenty-seven archers shot 670+. Top-64 cut at 657.

Recurve women

  1. Yang Xiaolei, China – 673
  2. Sonoda Waka, Japan – 665
  3. Lisa Barbelin, France – 664

One archer shot 670+. Top-64 cut at 634.