Archers head to China, for the World Youth Championships
The City of Wuxi, Jiangsu Province, will host the thirteenth edition of the World Youth Championships on 13-20 October. Wuxi is located 200 km north-west of Shanghai and is split by the Taihu Lake, while the Yangtze River borders the north part of the city. The total population is around 6.5 million people.
In a city known for its natural and man-made beauty, medals will be contested in 20 junior and cadet events, including individual, team and mixed competitions over eight days at the Wuxi Sports Centre. The qualification and elimination rounds will be held in the venue’s stadium, and the finals in another area inside the complex.
561 athletes participated in the previous edition of the World Youth Championships, in Legnica, Poland, back in 2011.
The 2013 edition of the championships will include a Qualification Tournament for the 2014 Youth Olympic Games, which are being organised in the neighbouring city of Nanjing, capital of the Jiangsu Province. This Qualification Tournament will take place on Friday 18 October.
A number of archers already experienced on the international scene are heading to Wuxi for this year’s World Youth Championships, looking to claim one or more of the 120 medals available. Some are travelling straight from the senior World Championships - held in Belek Antalya, Turkey last week. Read on to discover some of these big names, and challengers to watch, as arrows fly in Wuxi from Sunday!
Recurve Junior Men
Frenchman Gaël PREVOST (photo) won the bronze medal at the World Cup Final in 2012 - and was part of the French team that just won the bronze medal at the World Championships in Belek Antalya last week, in an unforgettable match against Korea. PREVOST had already seized team bronze at the Shanghai World Cup this year. He is the most experienced and decorated archer at this year’s youth championships, and the man to beat.
Sjef VAN DEN BERG (NED) was European Team Champion in Amsterdam in 2012, and won the individual silver medal at the World Indoor Championships a few months before. At the senior World Championships last week, he secured another silver medal with his Dutch teammates in the recurve men’s team competition.
Bolot TSYBZHITOV (RUS) won the individual bronze medal at the first Youth Olympic Games in 2010 in Singapore. He has represented Russia on its senior team since 2011.
Yagiz YILMAZ (TUR) was mixed team bronze medallist at the 2012 European Championships. He finished 4th individually at the Mediterranean Games this year.
Luca MARAN (ITA) has accumulated a catalogue of good results in both the junior and cadet categories. In 2008, MARAN became cadet team silver medallist at the World Youth Championships - before returning the next year to claim bronze in the same category. In 2012, he won the junior competition at the Indoor World Championships in Las Vegas.
KIM Joo Wan (KOR) is one of Korea’s brightest young talents. KIM won three individual and team golds and a silver at the 2008 and 2009 world championships in the cadet category, before becoming world team champion again in 2011 in the junior category.
Recurve Junior Women
Mariana AVITIA (MEX) was Olympic bronze medallist in London last year, and owns an extensive list of personal and team records. She finished in 4th place with her team in Belek Antalya last weekend. Her Mexican teammate Alejandra VALENCIA was cadet bronze medallist in 2011 - and this season, at only 18 years old, she qualified for her third World Cup Final, where she finished 4th. VALENCIA arrives in China after a promising 9th place individual finish in Belek Antalya.
Kristina TIMOFEEVA (RUS) was cadet team silver medallist at the 2009 championships - and individual world indoor champion in the junior category in 2012, as well as picking up another team silver. Individual and team gold medallist at the Ogden World Cup in 2012, she finished 4th at the 2012 Olympic Games with the Russian team.
Noémie BRIANNE was part of the French senior team at the first two World Cup stages of this season, and finished 9th in the mixed team event in Belek Antalya last week.
Gaia ROTA is part of the new Italian recurve generation finding domestic success. She lost Italy’s recent national championship final to the imperishable Natalia VALEEVA.
Mirene ETXEBERRIA (ESP) won the individual and team silver medals at this year’s Mediterranean Games.
JEON Sungeun (KOR) has not yet competed internationally, but is already a professional archer in her country and a sure contender for medals.
Compound Junior Men
Mike SHLOESSER (NED), new senior World Champion, is favourite to clinch a second gold medal in only two weeks. SCHLOESSER had already captured the world mixed team champion title, and a junior team silver medal, two years ago. The team bronze medal he won at the European Championships in 2012 concludes the list of his best results.
Stephan HANSEN (DEN) is part of the world’s best compound men’s team, together with World Cup Finalist teammates Martin DAMSBO and Patrick LAURSEN. They were crowned world champions last Saturday in Belek, a few kilometres along the Turkish coast from where the trio won this year’s Antalya World Cup. HANSEN won three medals two years ago in Legnica: one individual gold and two bronzes in the cadet team events.
Bridger DEATON (USA) was cadet double-gold medallist in the team and mixed team events in Legnica. In 2012, he became individual and team world indoor champion in the junior category.
Rajat CHAUHAN (IND) finished just outside of a qualifying spot for the World Cup Final in Paris this year. He won one silver and one bronze in World Cup team events this season.
The Italian team of Alessandro MARESCA, Michele NENCIONI and Leonardo PARDINI are also worth watching.
Compound Junior Women
In her first international event out of the American continent - the Antalya-held second stage of this year’s World Cup - Sara LOPEZ won individual and team gold medals. It was a successful start for the amazing Colombian team that challenged for medals consistently throughout 2013, before becoming senior team World Champions in Belek last week. LOPEZ also won team silver at the Medellin World Cup and individual bronze at the World Games.
Jyothi Surekha VENNAM won the team bronze medal at the 2011 Asian Championships, and has represented India admirably this year.
Recurve Cadet Women
Tuyana DASHIDORZHIEVA (RUS) was team cadet bronze medallist two years ago in Legnica, and junior team silver medallist last year at the Indoor World Championships.
Compound Cadet Women
American Emily FISCHER (photo) is a big favourite after seizing triple gold at the 2011 World Youth Championships. Last year she also won the junior team bronze medal at the World Field Championships.
Maja ORLIC (CRO) made a surprising run at the Belek World Championships, reaching the semi-finals by defeating a bunch of strong opponents. She finished 4th but showed phenomenal ability at such a young age. Her best international records include a team bronze at the world indoors and an individual silver at the World Field Championships in the junior category last year.
15-year-old Fatimah ALMASHHADANI (IRQ), another surprise in Belek - she finished 17th individually - stands likely to make an impression at this event.
Wuxi presents a prime opportunity for young medallists from Legnica 2011 to reclaim positions on the podium. They all compete in the junior category:
Recurve men: LIU Yue (CHN), Beligto TSYNGUEV (RUS), Mitch DIELMANS (NED) Jan RIJAVEC and Klemen STRAJHAR (SLO).
Recurve women: Polina RODIONOVA and Soelma SYRENOVA (RUS), Carlotta FEBO (ITA).
Compound men: Renaud DOMANSKI (BEL), Adolfo MEDINA (MEX), Michael KUPCHANKO (CAN), Danny BUTTON (USA), Simon MIKKELSEN and Peter SIGIL (DEN).
Compound women: Ella HUGO (AUS), Sarah Holst SONNICHSEN (DEN), Paige PEARCE (USA), Stephanie Sarai SALINAS (MEX), Mariia VINOGRADOVA (RUS).
Recap the results from Legnica 2011, and join in the World Youth Championships 2013 online conversation: tweet, post or share with the hashtag #WAYC2013. Check the World Archery webpage for news, results, photos and videos.
World Archery Communication