Korean Recurvers Take Home Everything at Indoor Archery World Cup Final
Korean professional team Hyundai Steel’s MIN Byeong Yeon impressed in the third Indoor Archery World Cup stage in Nimes. He shot nine straight 10s to knock off Olympic Champion OH Jin Hyek to take recurve men’s gold.
At the Indoor World Cup Final in Vegas, it was MIN’s turn to be impressed.
Another Hyundai Steel archer, KIM Jaeh Yeong, shot 12 arrows into the centre ring in a gold medal match again MIN. The latter mustered perfect 30s in the second and fourth sets, but leaked nines in the first and third.
Nothing but perfect will do in a recurve men’s final it seems these days.
Korean pair KIM Min Jung and JO Seung Hyeon weren’t quite as tight around the middle in the recurve women’s final – but they weren’t far off. Trailing 5-3 into the last set, JO managed a 30 and forced a shoot-off.
She drilled a 10 with her tiebreaker arrow. The crowd cheered, and then took a sharp intake of breath when KIM – who had been leading most of the way throughout the match – let one go loose, and into the eight wide right.
Gold medal to JO.
LaNola PRITCHARD (USA) lost in a straight-set recurve women’s bronze medal match to Korean SIM Ye Ji. SIM managed a trio of 29-point sets, while PRITCHARD could not top 28.
The only other athlete with a chance at keeping Korea off the podium was reigning Indoor Archery World Cup Champion Rick VAN DER VEN. The Dutch man, who came fourth at the London Olympic Games, beat London Olympic Champion OH in a shoot-off in the quarterfinals.
He lost his bronze medal match to OH’s Korean teammate GYE Dong Hyun, 6-4.
The bronze win fro GYE completed a Korean absolute clean sweep of the Indoor Archery World Cup Final recurve podium for the first time.
Koreans had previously had the top three finishes in the recurve women’s event – after professional Team LH started shooting the circuit – but the arrival of Hyundai Steel and Hyundai Mobis changed the game.
It’s up to the rest of the world to up its competition level indoors, now – if it wants to take a shot at claiming back some of these medals from Korea next indoor season.
Read more about Las Vegas 2015.