Ki Bo Bae set to rejoin Korean team

20 April 2015
Boeun (KOR)
Olympic Champion Ki Bo Bae did not shoot for Korea in 2014, instead acting as a pundit for national TV. In 2015, she’;s back on the team – and will compete at the World Archery Championships in the summer.

Ki Bo Bae, London 2012 Olympic Champion, is set to represent Korea once again in 2015.

Her disappearance from the international scene last season came as something of a shock. She finished third in Korean selections for 2015, drawn with Chang Hye Jin, but had a higher average score over the competition – as announced by the Korean Archery Association on its Facebook page.

Choi Mi Sun and Kang Chae Young – who have competed at only one international event each to date – are poised to join Bo Bae in the recurve women’s team that will attempt to qualify for the Rio 2016 Games.

It’s turnover across the board: none of Choi, Kang or Ki wore Korean shirts in 2014.

The men’s Olympic Champion and reigning mixed team World Champion – with partner in Belek, Ki Bo Bae – has retained his international cap.

Oh Jin Hyek found himself sitting in fourth place at the end of selection on 20 April: a position that would have left him out of the team for the Copenhagen 2015 World Archery Championships.

However, the selection process took into account results from the Asian Games, with the individual winners from that event receiving a ranking score modifier of 10 percent of the available selection points. Oh won gold in Incheon back in September last year.

The bonus boosted Jin Hyek into second, behind 2011 World Champion and 2012 Archery World Cup Final Champion Kim Woojin.

Woojin won both the first and second selection events.

While he will get a chance at a second world crown, reigning recurve men’s champ Lee Seungyun won’t. He finished fourth in the selection event – and nations may only send a maximum of three athletes in each division to the World Archery Championships. 

Seungyun missed out in an average score tiebreak for the third spot to Antalya 2014 runner-up Ku Bonchan, who will likely round-out the Korean recurve men’s trio in Copenhagen with Kim and Oh.

Youth Olympic Champion Lee Woo Seok, who came second at the first squad selection event, finished seven of eight in stage two – and overall, fifth.

It is expected that Woo Seok will shoot at the World Archery Asia Championships as part of a Korean B-Team that will also include world record holder for the 70-metre qualification round, Im Dong Hyun.

Choi Bomin, another Asian Games gold medallist, jumped from seventh to third in the compound women’s selection off the back of winning the second selection round and her Incheon bonus. Ahead of her was Seol Dayoung and Kim Yun Hee.

The compound men’s top three, in order, were: Kim Jong Ho, Lee Tae Yoon and Choi Yong Hee

Both Seol and Lee are changes to last year’s teams. While there’s not Olympic quota spots on the line for compound competitors, it’s clear that Korea’s compound experiment won’t conclude after the Incheon event the squad was initially formed for.

Heading into the post Asian Games year, all indications are that the Korean compound squad is here to stay.

Entries for Copenhagen 2015 become official over the coming months. With less than 100 days to go until the championships, just who will be fighting for world titles and Rio 2016 quota places is starting to gain some clarity.