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Shanghai 2015 predictions and projections: #CompoundSaturday

Reigning World Cup Final Champion Sara LOPEZ faces Linda OCHOA in the headline match of compound Saturday at the first stage of the 2015 season.

The finals of the first Archery World Cup stage of the year take place on the banks of the river that flows through the financial capital of East Asia, Shanghai. 

Against that iconic skyline in 2015, top athletes have the opportunity to cash in on ranking points and get the race to Mexico City started. 

Here are our picks for #CompoundSaturday in Shanghai… 

Compound women’s individual gold medal match (afternoon session): LOPEZ – COL / OCHOA – MEX

Archery World Cup Final winner at Lausanne 2014, Sara LOPEZ was a finallist last year at the first stage of the season in Shanghai when she lost to CHOI Bomin after her equipment malfunctioned.

She will be keen to erase that memory, and is in serious form: Just two weeks ago, she broke the 72-arrow ranking round world record.

Her opponent, Mexico’s Linda OCHOA, was one of seven other compound women to qualify for last year’s World Cup Final – so is certainly no pushover. She has bucketloads of World Cup experience, was a finalist in Shanghai in 2010 and can’t be counted out. 

The pair met at the Arizona Cup world ranking tournament last year, and Lopez took the match by three points.

Advantage: LOPEZ

Compound women’s individual bronze medal match (afternoon session) MAT SALLEH – MAS / SALINAS – MEX 

Less-known, but a winner at the Asian continental level, youngster MAT SALLEH will face of against Mexico’s Stephanie SALINAS for bronze. SALINAS won the 2010 Pan-American Championships as a cadet. 

MAT SALLEH has an edge in experience. 

Advantage: MAT SALLEH

Compound men’s individual gold medal match (afternoon session): PEINEAU – FRA / SCHLOESSER – NED 

Seb PEINEAU won in Shanghai last year.

He beat French teammate and current world number one PJ DELOCHE to gold – a match that was repeated earlier in this year’s Shanghai event.

In 2015, PEINEAU’s back in the gold medal match. This time to contest the top spot with Mr Perfect: Dutch compounder Mike SCHLOESSER. Mike received his nickname after becoming the first ever archer to shoot a perfect, 600-point indoor ranking round earlier this year.

Both are shooting well and this could well be the match of the day.

Advantage: Push

Compound men’s individual bronze medal match (afternoon session): CARDOSO – MEX / GENET – FRA

Twenty-one year old Mario CARDOSO had team gold medals at events like the youth worlds in ’09 and ’13, Arizona Cup and Mexican Grand Prix. 

In Shanghai comes a chance to shine individually, as a senior and on the world stage. 

CARDOSO is up against a taciturn Frenchman more than twice his age: The vastly-experienced Dominique GENET, who already has 15 medals from the Archery World Cup in his trophy cabinet, including individual gold at Antalya 2009. 

It’s a classic sporting matchup… young and hungry versus decorated vet: so CARDOSO might just want the medal just a little more.

Advantage: CARDOSO 

Compound mixed team gold medal match (afternoon session): Turkey / Colombia 

Turkey knocked out strong compound nations India and the Netherlands on their way to the finals, but the Colombian pairing of Sara LOPEZ and Daniel MUNOZ outscored them in every match. 

It’s hard to see a Turkey win here, but you never know. 

Advantage: Colombia

Compound women’s team gold medal match (morning session): USA / Malaysia 

The USA women were unbeaten through mid-2013 to mid-2014. This team is very different. 

Anchored by Crystal GAUVIN, the new-look squad is delivering similar results, however – and a win at Shanghai 2015 would be impressive for a first outing. It’s certainly not impossible, especially after a confidence-boosting semis win over world champs Colombia. 

The States’ Malaysian opponents had a steady, consistent run to the finals. 

Neither team has many members with huge amounts of international finals experience, shooting in a spectator arena in front of live TV cameras. Whoever deals with the pressure better takes this match. 

Advantage: Push 

Compound men’s team gold medal match (morning session): I.R. Iran / Denmark 

World Champion Denmark posted the two highest team match scores of the day during eliminations: back-to-back 235 out of 240. DAMSBO, LAURSEN and HANSEN look confident and strong. 

The Iranian men have taken many compound titles over the years but it’s been a four-year drought since a big-game final – and they haven’t been as high-powered throughout this tournament. 

It should be a cracking match, though. 

Advantage: Denmark 

Read more about Shanghai 2015.