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World Championships 2013 set to begin by the Turkish Riviera

The 2013 edition of the Outdoor World Championships will be held from 29 September to 6 October in the municipality of Belek, Turkey’s Antalya Province.

The Turkish Riviera is again the epicentre of a first class World Archery tournament. The outdoor season will culminate with this major event in another spectacular venue: the Beach of Belek will be home of the finals on 5-6 October. The qualification and elimination rounds will take place close to Belek, at the Papillon Sports Centre in Kadriye from 29 September to 4 October.

Some World Championships facts
All the athletes that participated in last weekend’s memorable World Cup Final in Paris will attend the World Championships, with the exception of recurve female athlete JOO Hyun Jung, who could not win her spot among the Korean team.

As for the current title holders, the two individual recurve athletes will not be in competition: the absence of 21 year old KIM Woojin is another example of the Korean recurve supremacy, as he was not part of the national team this season. Chilean Denisse VAN LAMOEN is also unable to defend her title as she momentarily retired the international scene.

Ireland’s recurve athlete Keith HANLON will take part in his 11th World Championships in a row since 1993.

After Turin in 2011, who will be the new world champions for the next two years? The following athletes will for sure be amongst the favourites!

Recurve women
This season at Antalya’s World Cup stage she took the silver medal, but then won the gold in every other individual event in which she participated, including the recent World Cup Final. Korean archer YUN Ok Hee (photo) is perhaps the most accomplished athlete of the year and will do her best to clinch the individual World Championships gold medal that is still missing in her records.

Her teammate and Olympic champion KI Bo Bae failed to qualify for the World Cup Final and will therefore be starving for a new title; she is unquestionably the other Korean athlete who could be on the first step of the podium.

Deepika KUMARI (IND) and CUI Yuanyuan (CHN) were silver and bronze medallists in Paris, confirmation of a very good season. World Cup Finalists Alejandra VALENCIA (4th) and Aída ROMAN from Mexico, as well as Inna STEPANOVA (RUS) could also be medal contenders. In Paris STEPANOVA was beaten by CUI 6-4 in a very tight match.

Other athletes to watch here are the 2011 bronze medallist and team Olympic silver medallist FANG Yuting (CHN), five-time Olympian Khatuna LORIG (USA), Ana María RENDON (COL), Anastasia PAVLOVA (UKR) and TAN Ya-Ting (TPE). 2011 silver medallist Kristine ESEBUA (GEO) will take part in her first major event this year.

Recurve men
Current silver medallist, Olympic champion and last weekend’s World Cup Final gold medallist OH Jin Hyek seems almost unbeatable this year. His only two defeats came at the Wroclaw World Cup, where he lost in semi-finals against JIN Jae Wang – who will not be in Belek - and in the bronze medal match against IM Dong Hyun: a Korean affair! Regardless of his Wroclaw defeat, OH has dominated the World Cup season and will arrive in Turkey with the firm intention of confirming his power over the year.

Olympic bronze medallist DAI Xiaoxiang (CHN) and Olympic team silver medallist Brady ELLISON (USA), silver and bronze in Paris, are on fire and will be in the running for medals in Belek.

Korean archer LEE Seungyun (4th), Gaël PREVOST (FRA), Khairul Anuar MOHAMAD (MAS), ZHANG Jianping (CHN) and Olympic team champion Mauro NESPOLI (ITA) were all by the Eiffel Tower last weekend, and are athletes to watch in Belek. PREVOST (photo) almost authored a major upset in what probably was the best match of the Final last week: he brought OH to a shoot-off in their quarter-finals encounter. MOHAMAD had the privilege of celebrating his 22nd birthday with a dedicated song from the crowd last Sunday and will be after-partying in Turkey with hopes of a finish higher than the 6th place he earned in Paris.

The list of outsiders that could shake up the ranking include Jeff HENCKELS (LUX), Juan René SERRANO (MEX), Shungo TABATA (JPN), Viktor RUBAN (UKR) and Crispin DUENAS (CAN).

Compound women
Alejandra USQUIANO (photo) is definitely the lovely surprise of the year! She started her international career in 2008 but 2013 will remain as the year when the world discovered the Colombian compound girls together with Sara LOPEZ and Maja MARCEN (8th at the 2011 World Championships), winners of the team event at the Antalya World Cup.

Who would have bet on a victory for USQUIANO in Paris? Probably not a lot of people outside of her beloved Colombia, but she demonstrated an incredible strength and self-control in the key moments of this World Cup Final, first in the quarter-finals match against her teammate Sara LOPEZ and then against the two best compound female archers in the world: Albina LOGINOVA (semi-finals) and Erika JONES (final). This victory is the culmination of a great season where she also won the Medellin World Cup, in her home city.

Erika JONES (USA), World Games champion, runner-up in Paris and bronze medallist at Turin in 2011 will be of course one of the big favourites in Belek. She took the world n°1 ranking this year and is aiming at the individual world champion title after the bronze in 2011.

Albina LOGINOVA (RUS) is the double title-holder and the bronze medallist from the World Cup Final. She increased her power throughout the season to win the Wroclaw World Cup, but a third world championship title in a row will be a challenge to achieve in this highly competitive division.

SEOK Ji Hyun (KOR), newcomer to the podium this season and winner at the Shanghai World Cup, is part of the group of best positioned outsiders who could win the title; together with Sara LOPEZ, gold medallist in Antalya, and Kristina BERGER (GER), 6th in Paris.

Camilla SOEMOD (DEN), who was the World Games runner-up; Pascale LEBECQUE (FRA) – silver medallist in 2011 and World Cup Final mixed team winner; CHOI Bomin (KOR); Linda OCHOA (MEX); Ana MENDOZA (VEN); and Anastasia ANASTASIO (ITA) have also demonstrated very good things throughout the season.

Compound men
The new World Cup Final golden boy Martin DAMSBO (DEN) climbed the highest step of the podium in Paris for the first time, which was the crowning achievement of an excellent season for him. In the final he overcame Braden GELLENTHIEN (USA) for the second time this year after the bronze medal match in Antalya.

Double world team champion GELLENTHIEN will have the individual title in mind and will consequently seek to improve upon his 5th place finish two years ago. He has had an excellent World Cup season as well, with individual, mixed and team victories.

Defending champion Canadian Christopher PERKINS (photo) did not take part in any international events this year, but was in almost the same situation when he became World Champion in Turin. He will therefore be a serious contender for a medal.

Silver medallist in 2011, Jesse BROADWATER was not part of the World Cup American team this year but earned his spot for Belek at the National Trials, which is a very positive achievement, considering the competition he faced – including World Cup gold medallist Rodger WILLETT JR, who missed making the team. BROADWATER will be a candidate for the podium too.

US teammate Reo WILDE has won an individual World Cup and the World Games this season, in addition to some other team and mixed team events. His career records are impressive: World Champion in 2009 and bronze medallist in 2011. Who else could be better positioned for a new medal - perhaps a new gold?

Patrick LAURSEN - DAMSBO’s teammate with whom he won the team event in Antalya and later the individual gold medal this year – as well as Dominique GENET and Pierre-Julien DELOCHE (FRA), Sergio PAGNI (ITA) and MIN Lihong (KOR) were all in Paris and all have the chance to do something exceptional again in Belek. DELOCHE was individual gold medallist in Wroclaw and team gold medallist together with GENET in Medellin, and PAGNI won two mixed team golds and one individual silver medal during the World Cup season, the bronze medal at the World Cup Final and the mixed team silver at the World Games. MIN clinched three World Cup medals this season: one mixed team silver and two team bronzes.

Gabriel BADENHORST (RSA) was 4th two years ago and won the team event silver medal in Wroclaw last month. Rajat CHAUHAN (IND), CHOI Yong Hee (KOR), Alexander DAMBAEV (RUS), Dietmar TRILLUS (CAN), Roberto HERNANDEZ (ESA) and Peter ELZINGA (NED) all clinched medals this year and could be again in privileged positions.

Recurve team events
Korea is going to be the team to defeat in both the recurve men’s and women’s events. The men were gold medallists in 2011 and Olympic bronze medallists, and women were bronze medallists in 2011 and Olympic champions. In the men’s category, there are at least eight teams that could change the order: Italy (Olympic champions and bronze in 2011), USA (Olympic silver), France (silver in 2011), Mexico, Malaysia, Ukraine, China and Great Britain.

In the women’s category, nine teams are medal contenders including China (Olympic silver), Japan (Olympic bronze), Italy (champions in 2011), India (silver in 2011), Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, Germany and Chinese Taipei.

Compound team events
The American men’s team is the defending champion and the n°1 favourite to win again. Their most serious and difficult contenders will be Denmark (silver in 2011), France, Russia, Canada (bronze in 2011), South Africa, Mexico and Korea.

The US team is also favourite in the women’s category. They are the title-holders and, despite the team having two newer athletes, a powerful trio. 2011 bronze medallists Venezuela, as well as Colombia, Italy, Russia, Mexico, Korea and France will be their main opponents and strong medal contenders.

Mixed team events
It seems hard to think about a team other than Korea winning the gold medal. The good thing with sport is that nothing is impossible. Therefore, 2011 silver medallists Mexico and bronze medallists Great Britain will be there to change the rules. Other strong teams that will fight for hardware of any colour will be China, USA, India, Italy, Japan, Chinese Taipei and Russia.

The compound mixed team event has been mainly dominated by Italy for the past two years. After winning on home soil two years ago, they topped the World Cup ranking this year but lost the Final in Paris versus the home team. They were also silver medallists at the World Games, only beaten in the final by the USA. Italy and the United States are the two strongest teams but the outsiders all have possibilities to win: Germany (bronze at the World Games), Denmark, France, Russia, Korea, Mexico, and the Netherlands.

Remember Turin 2011 results and join the online conversation about the World Archery Championships 2013: tweet, post or share with hashtag #WAC2013. Be sure to watch the finals, live streamed for free on 5-6 October at Archery TV.

World Archery Communication