Shanghai 2014: What you need to know
The Shanghai venue is very well-known to elite international archers as it’s been a stage on the World Cup circuit for the last five years. Although this time around, they’ll be shooting the finals in the opposite direction to usual. Why? There is a reason – but it’s top secret!
Competition starts with a ranking round on Wednesday, eliminations that evening through to Friday – and, as normal for Archery World Cup stages, compound finals on Saturday before the recurve finals on Sunday, live on Archery TV.
It’s been a long winter indoors, and that fabulous finale under the Eiffel Tower in 2013 seems an age away. So here’s our countdown of what you need to know for Shanghai 2014.
Five… key Shanghai facts
Shanghai has hosted an Archery World Cup stage six times before: in 2006 and every year since 2009. Stage three in 2014, Antalya’s in the lead on eight editions hosted – every year since the tour started – while Medellin and Wroclaw, this season’s stages two and four, were first-time stops in 2013. Over 300 archers representing more than 40 countries will compete at the first 2014 Archery World Cup stage. That’s up on the 258 from last year and 299 in 2012. For the second year in a row, Shanghai’s live on Eurosport on Sunday – check your local listings for scheduling – with selected programming on Eurosport’s Asian and worldwide channels. Longines added a stage prize to its year-long precision competition. The recurve woman who shoots the mosts 10s in Shanghai wins an awesome watch. More on this soon! Interestingly, none of the top three ranked recurve women in the world will shoot at Shanghai. Both KI Bo Bae and YUN Ok Hee failed to make Korea’s team, and the nation isn’t bringing any recurves to the first stage, while Deepika KUMARI couldn’t crack India’s squad either – though KUMARI’s tipped to be in Medellin.
Four… athletes with a good record at Shanghai
Reo WILDE has podiumed at Shanghai the last three years running. In 2013, it was a bronze for the States compound man – but he won it for two consecutive years before that, in 2012 and 2011.
The partner WILDE won mixed team gold with at the Cali 2013 World Games last year hasn’t taken gold in Shanghai before. Although Erika JONES is also a three-time medallist at the stage: silver in 2013 and 2011 and a 2010 bronze.
Russian recurve woman Inna STEPANOVA won the 2011 edition of the Shanghai stage when she was ranked number three in the world. She missed last year’s competition, but has only been out of the individual top eight at an international outdoor tournament twice since the London Olympics.
It’s difficult not to highlight OH Jin Hyek – who won in 2013 and came second in 2009 – as the hot recurve guy in Shanghai. But maybe it’s time to talk about Brady ELLISON – who was the gold medallist at the stage the last time he started his season by winning the Arizona Cup world ranking event, in 2012.
In 2014, ELLISON began his season by winning the Arizona Cup – and OH’s not competing at the China event this year.
Three… Shanghai predictions (by guest writer and international recurve women’s veteran Naomi FOLKARD from Great Britain)
Sjef VAN DEN BERG climbs the podium. The 19-year old has been shooting the World Cup for two years already, already has a world team silver and European team gold medal – and shoots extremely strong in head-to-heads. The Mexican recurve women win team gold. Aida ROMAN is rounding back into form, Alejandra VALENCIA and Mariana AVITIA are terrifying when they click – and Gina GONZALEZ is no slouch, either. Any combination of the four can beat any other team out there. It rains loads during qualification and that doesn’t bother Stephan HANSEN who steams to another medal. He was the lynchpin of Denmark’s gold medal winning team at Belek and great in Wuxi and Nimes.
Two… recurve teams with new identities
The USA women’s team is a drastic departure from last year’s line-up. Although super-experienced Olympian Khatuna LORIG – who will serve as an athlete rolemodel at the Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing later this year – is entrenched as the squad leader, her teammates are relatively unknown.
Shanghai is Ariel GIBILARO’s first World Cup competition. She shot at the World Archery Youth Championships last year, with Mackenzie BROWN – who was top eight individually at that Wuxi event. BROWN shot two World Cups in 2013, while fourth USA team member Erin MICKELBERRY has only been to one: Porec, back in 2011. States recurve man Collin KLIMICHEK was at Wuxi, too, but is a World Cup mystery.
Lucas DANIEL won junior team gold at the World Archery Indoor Championships in Nimes in February (and shot a new national record at France’s selections). DANIEL and international rookie Pierre PLIHON – who’s actually from the Nimes club – are half of the French recurve men’s quartet. Joining them: vets Jean-Charles VALLADONT and Thomas FAUCHERON, who won team bronze at the Belek 2013 worlds.
One… way to follow all the action
With World Archery! Watch live recurve finals (Saturday 26 April: team in the morning, mixed team and individual in the afternoon) and delayed compound matches on Archery TV – as well as news, interviews and features from the Win&Win Archery Fan Reporters throughout the week, follow coverage on Facebook and Twitter and get involved using the #WCShanghai hashtag.