Antalya finals preview: Compound Saturday
The finals of the Archery World Cup in Antalya take place – for the seventh year in a row – on the beautiful Konyalti beach.
The great weather has always been a characteristic of the Turkish stage of the outdoor circuit since it started a decade ago, but this year promises a challenge.
Archers in the morning session on compound Saturday might have to deal with considerable cloudiness, rain and possibly thunderstorms.
Come sun, cloud or rain, the truth is that top athletes still need to release arrows, win medals and – of course – collect the points that put them closer to a spot in the Archery World Cup Final in Mexico.
Here are our picks for compound Saturday in Antalya…
Compound men’s individual gold final (afternoon session): Schloesser – NED / Kim – KOR
Dutchman Mike Schloesser is known as Mister Perfect since he shot the unbeatable indoor world record early this year: 600 out of 600 points for the 18-metre ranking round.
He won silver in Shanghai after losing to Seb Peineau from France in a one-arrow shoot-off – and will be looking to better that result. Mike is one of the most consistent men around, shooting scores of 150, 149, 149 and 149 in his matches so far in Antalya.
Opposite him on the line, Korean Kim Jongho – who’s into his third Archery World Cup season.
His only previous final on the circuit was at Wroclaw 2013, where he collected bronze with the Korean team.
Possibly the most exciting match of the day: two very competitive archers, both accustomed to winning – and both from the USA.
Reo is one the most decorated compound archers in the world. He set a new record – a perfect 150 with 12 X-ring shots – in Shanghai but went out in the quarterfinals. Antalya is a happy comeback – especially since Reo said he was entirely focused on collecting points towards the Archery World Cup Final in Mexico City.
Bridger Deaton is the reigning Archery World Cup Champion. He’s won nine out of the 13 gold medal matches he has competed in – and last beat Reo head-to-head on his way to the tour title at Lausanne 2014.
He lost his semi in Antalya to Korean Kim in a one-arrow tiebreaker. Both archers shot 10s. Tough loss.
Call this one, if you dare…
Compound women’s individual gold final (afternoon session): VINOGRADOVA – RUS / MARCOS – ESP
Junior and senior will meet for the first time in an unusual final. Russia’s Mariia Vinogradova has been more active on the international circuit than Spaniard Andrea Marcos, though.
The 21 year-old Russian has been in five compound junior finals and won the World Archery Indoor Championships in Vegas 2012 with the Russian women’s team. She also qualified first at Shanghai 2015.
Marcos shot strong in all her individual matches – climbing up from the 18 seed.
Her last international competition was Belek 2013, where she was knocked out in the second round.
After a three-year absence, this is Mexico’s Stephanie Salinas’ second Archery World cup stage in a row in her second season on the tour.
Three weeks ago in Shanghai, she won bronze. Something she can repeat if she beats Italian Laura Longo – a previous finalist both individually and with the Italian team.
Compound mixed team gold final (afternoon session): Denmark / South Africa
They’re enjoying the competition, enjoying shooting strong and enjoying pairing up together in their first time as a mixed team.
Advantage: South Africa
Compound women’s team gold final (morning session): Korea / Colombia
The Colombian women are the current world champions. The girls have been shooting together since 2013 – and consistently make finals. In Shanghai, for example, they shot for bronze, but lost out to Russia.
Korea, Colombia’s gold final opponent, does not compete often on the Archery World Cup circuit – the compounds less than the recurves – but they do well when they get the chance.
Not an easy challenge for Colombia, but a winnable one.
Compound men’s team gold final (morning session): Denmark / United States
World Champion Denmark is defending pride, honour and the gold they won in Shanghai.
Back-to-back finals and a chance at back-to-back golds, the Danes are hosting the next world championships and the squad is clearly looking forward to defend the title at home. They keep looking confident, strong and – mainly – happy with their results on the field.
Facing one of the strongest compound squads going, Denmark will have its work cut out.
Wilde, Deaton and Steve Anderson underwhelmed in the season opener, certainly not living up to the States’ high standards, but have a chance at redemption.
Another match that might make you bite your nails…