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World Archery Championships: Objectives Turin – London

On 3-10 July, the World Archery Championships 2011 will take place in Turin, Italy. Not only they will crown new world champions in a sport that combines precision, intensity, elegance and fair play, but they will also allocate 35 places out of 64 per gender for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Moreover, they will be the first in the history of archery to crown Mixed Team world champions and to be directly followed by the World Archery Para Championships.   The event is presented as the most important sports event hosted by Turin, former capital of Italy, in the year when the country celebrates the 150th anniversary of its reunion. A sports event that, even in the choice of venues, seems to fit perfectly into the calendar of events dedicated to this historical celebration. The venues for the world championships are directly connected to the events and personalities of the ItalianRenaissance: the final matches will be contested in the Piazza Castello, the old parade ground in the heart of the city which is overlooked by Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Madama, and other symbolic buildings of baroque age. The qualifications and first rounds of eliminations will take place in the 18th-century hunting residence of Stupinigi, which is one of the Savoy palaces designed by Filippo JUVARRA.   On the sport side, there will be more than 600 archers from close to 90 countries who will shoot for the titles, the medals and the Olympic berths.   The 2000 Olympic medallist, 2010 Youth Olympian ambassador and Netherlands Head Coach, Wietse VAN ALTEN, said recently: "Every four years, one day is so important in the life of the top level archers. It is the day of the team matches at the World Championships taking place the year before the Olympic Games. If you win your first round match, you qualify a team for the Olympic Games. It is the toughest match ever." In fact, this year more than ever, it will be even more difficult than this. With the level of archery rising in all parts of the world, the first challenge will be to qualify among the 16 teams that will shoot in the first round matches. A range of 25 teams can really contend to be in the top 16 after the qualifications.   As a recap; the top 8 teams in Turin will earn three spots (one for each team member) of the Games in London. If they participate in Turin, Great Britain will also earn one team spot automatically. This means that if Great Britain is in the top 8, the 9th team in the competition will also qualify. Moreover the top 8 individuals (from other countries than the qualified teams) will also earn one berth. This makes 35 places. However they are non-nominative, they belong to the country. There will be subsequent qualifiers until the Olympic Games to reach 64 athletes per gender. Final note, only the athletes from the recurve division can participate in the Olympic Games.   Let's now have a look at some of the individual favourites for the medals in Turin, at the teams that will fight for an Olympic qualifications (or team medals at the world championships) and at some Youth Olympians from Singapore who may compete in London.      2004 Olympic Champion Marco GALIAZZO (ITA)    with archrival Jayanta TALUKDAR (IND) Recurve Men Individual favourites: The 2010 World Cup defender and winner of the 2011 Stage 1 in Porec Brady ELLISON (USA) is certainly hungry for more victories like Rafael NADAL still is on a tennis clay-court! Most of his main opponents were already at the Final in Istanbul: the Roger FEDERER of archery IM Dong-Hyun (KOR), his teammate KIM Woojin, Jayanta TALUKDAR (IND), the 2004 Olympic champion Marco GALIAZZO (ITA) and Simon TERRY (GBR). KIM took the place in the team of no less than defending world champion LEE Chang-Hawn! Let's not forget the 2008 Olympic champion Viktor RUBAN (UKR), Romain GIROUILLE (FRA) and Crispin DUENAS (CAN).   Youth Olympians to watch: Youth Olympic champion Ibrahim SABRY (EGY), silver medallist Rick VAN DEN OEVER (NED), Youth Olympic Mixed Team champion Anton KAROUKIN (BLR) and Axel MUELLER (SUI).   Teams: On the team side, Korea remains the favourite. Their most dangerous contenders are usually India and Italy. The likes of China, Japan, Great Britain, USA, France, Canada, Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Chinese Taipei and Malaysia are not far behind, followed by Spain, Germany, Turkey, I.R. Iran, Mexico, and Netherlands. More countries like Myanmar, Bangladesh and Australia can also be thrown in the mix.   Recurve Women Individual favourites: the Korean trio KI Bo Bae, HAN Gyeonghee and JUNG Dasomi. For the rest of the world: Natalia VALEEVA (ITA), Deepika KUMARI (IND), Justyna MOSPINEK (POL), Victoryia KOVAL (UKR), Berengere SCHUH (FRA), CHENG Ming (CHN) and Natalya ERDYNIYEVA (RUS).   Youth Olympians to watch: silver medallist TAN Ya-Ting (TPE) and Mariana AVITIA (MEX) who already participated at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games at age 14!   Teams: Korea is still the powerhouse despite adding two young newcomers, HAN Gyeonghee and JUNG Dasomi, who took the place of no less than the current world champion JOO Hyung-Jung and the lady with the most wins in the World Cup YUN Ok-Hee, to the team. Their main opponents have been China and Russia during the last four years and since the Russian team is still very young, it could turn into a very serious threat. Countries like Italy, India, Colombia, Great Britain, Georgia, Chinese Taipei, Japan, Poland, Ukraine and the USA are definitely in the mix, while others like Denmark, Germany, France, Sweden, Myanmar, Mongolia, Belarus, Spain, Switzerland, Korea DPR, Turkey and Mexico should not be counted out either.   Brady ELLISON and Khatuna LORIG, American Mixed Team    Recurve Mixed Team For the first time in history, a recurve mixed team title will be attributed in Turin. Mixed teams have now competed in the Archery World Cup for the last two years and the countries that were dominating are Korea, USA, China, India, France and Ukraine.   Compound Men Individual favourites: We could call them the magnificent 7. Led by the individual and team defending world champion Reo WILDE (USA), his teammate Braden GELLENTHIEN (USA), double World Cup Final winner Sergio PAGNI (ITA), Jorge JIMENEZ (ESA), Peter ELZINGA (NED), Martin DAMSBO (DEN) and Morgan LUNDIN (SWE) these seven archers have won pretty much everything in the last few years.   Teams: While the compound teams will not fight for an Olympic qualification, they will certainly fight against the four-time defender at the world championships: the USA. In fact, the Americans won five out of the eight team titles since compound made its debut at the world championships in Jakarta (INA) in 1995. France won in Indonesia, followed by Hungary in 1997. Norway earned the title in 2001. In Turin, the main opponents of the USA will be France, Denmark, Great Britain, India, Italy, Sweden, Netherland, Russia, Switzerland, El Salvador, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.      Team and individual defender Albina LOGINOVA (RUS) Compound Women Individual favourites: The current world champion (individual and team), as well as World Cup holder Albina LOGINOVA (RUS) will have a lot to shoot for this year! She will be challenged by her teammate Viktoria BALZHANOVA (RUS), Jamie Van NATTA and Christie COLLINS (USA), Ivana BUDEN (CRO), Gladys WILLEMS (BEL), Linda OCHOA (MEX), Ashley WALLACE (CAN), Laura LONGO (ITA), Jorina COETZEE (RSA), Pascale LEBECQUE (FRA) Anne LANTEE (FIN) and the returning 2001 world champion Ulrika SJOWALL (SWE).   Teams: In this category, the USA has not been as dominant as on the men's side, winning two world titles. In the last few years the main rivalry has been between the Americans and the Russians, the latter earning the world title in Ulsan. France has two world titles as well, while Italy, Belgium and Chinese Taipei have one each. In Turin, the other favourites will be Great Britain, France, Italy, Mexico, Venezuela and Sweden. Finally, Korea was a very strong runner-up at home in Ulsan and may reach the top for the first time in compound in Turin.   Compound Mixed Team The USA has dominated the compound mixed teams in the last two years, but they have got stiff competition from Mexico, Denmark, France, Russia and Canada.   Photo © Juventus: Elisabetta MIJNO and Oscar DE PELLEGRIN at an archery exhibition    during the last match of the season in the Juventus Torino Football Stadium    World Archery Para Championships Around 250 para-athletes from 40 countries will convey to the Palazzo Stupinigi in Turin for the World Archery Para Championships on 10-17 July. Here are some of the favourites, among them many have already won medals at the Paralympic Games: Kevin EVANS (CAN), CHENG Changjie and DONG Zhi (CHN), the trio CERNA-KUNOVA-SIDKOVA and David DRAHONINSKY (CZE), Fabrice MEUNIER (FRA), Danielle BROWN and John CAVANAGH (GBR), LEE Ouk-Soo and KIM Ran Sook (KOR), Baatarjav DAMBADONDOG (MGL), Magali COMTE and Philippe HORNER (SUI), Gizem GIRISMEN (TUR), Jeffrey FABRY (USA), as well as Alberto SIMONELLI, Marco VITALE, Oscar DE PELLEGRIN, Marlo ESPOSITO and Elisabetta MIJNO (ITA).   The archery community is looking forward to an historical World Championships and Para World Championships in Turin, respectively on 3-10 and 10-18 July. They will be preceded by the Congress on 1-2 July.   Didier MIEVILLE World Archery Communication