Copenhagen 2015: What you need to know
It’s only every two years that world champion crown are awarded in the world of archery – and the battle to the top is always hard fought.
Two years ago, the beach in Belek – near Antalya in Turkey – hosted world title matches that saw a new, young guard take control of the podium.
That, though, is already ancient history, as archers arrive for the biggest ever world championship in the event’s history – in the Scandinavian country of Denmark’s capital: Copenhagen.
Here’s what you need to know…
1) Copenhagen is the 48th version of the World Archery Championships.
The first World Archery Championships was held in Lwow, Poland in 1931 with 21 athletes. Eighty-four years later, and hosting the event for the second time, Copenhagen is welcoming 627 athletes from 95 countries – a new record for athlete attendance.
The first time the Danish organised the World Championships was in 1950, when there was 132 participants.
2) Copenhagen is the main Olympic qualifier for Rio 2016.
Teams will fight to win one of the eight Olympic team quota places on Tuesday during elimination day.
For those nations that do not collect those coveted three-spot quotas, a second chance to fight for allocations in the individual Olympic qualifier comes on Friday.
3) The qualification rounds and Olympic qualifier will take place in the Sundby Idrætspark from 26-31 July, while the finals will be held in front of the Danish Parliament in the heart of Copenhagen.
The Danish Parliament is located in Christiansborg Palace and draws over 60,000 visitors per year.
4) During this year’s summer, Europe has seen its ever long-lasting wave of heat with temperatures over 30 degrees Celsius in most of countries – but not in Denmark.
The temperature expected during the week is a maximum of 20 degrees Celsius with cloudy skies and some rain – right until the finals, when the sun is scheduled to break out.
5) The recurve men’s competition is looking like a 233-horse race. Since only 104 athletes advance to the elimination phase, more athletes will leave the competition after the ranking round than carry on past Monday.
Four defending champions
Maja Jager – recurve Woman
Just before the worlds in 2013, Maja Jager made a drastic relocation and moved to Korea to train full-time for Rio 2016 with Kim Hyung Tak, one of the world’s best archery coaches.
In Copenhagen, Maja defends her title on home soil with the crowd on her side and with all sights on one goal: win quota places for Denmark at Rio 2016.
Will she rise or fall under the pressure?
Lee Seungyun – Recurve Man
Reigning champ Seungyun didn’t make the cut to represent Korea or defend his title at the Copenhagen World Archery Championships.
It’s pretty much the only major title Jin Hyek has not won.
Mike Schloesser – Compound man
Also known as the Flying Dutchman and, more recently, Mister Perfect, Mike is the only person that has ever shot a perfect-600 18-metre ranking round.
He did it to open his 2015 campaign – and followed it up with a stage gold in Shanghai to open his 2015 outdoor season.
It’s got Mike all confident: “This is the year,” he said – just like it was two years ago?
Kristina Heigenhauser – Compound women
After winning the worlds in 2013, Kristina took a break from archery. Two years later, the German made her 2015 debut at the second stage of the Archery World Cup in Antalya, where she won bronze in the mixed team with Marcus Laube.
“Everybody has a chance and with the finals, anything is possible,” said Kristina. “I believe I can do it again.”
1) Ki Bo Bae won gold at London 2012, becoming the latest in a long line of Korean female Olympic Champions. It took her three years, including one off from the Korean team, to be back at the top of the podium.
Bo Bae won the 2015 Summer Universiade in a shoot-off over teammate Choi Misun – in a replay of the Antalya 2015 final, which Choi won – and shot 686 out of 720 points during the ranking round to break the world record, which had stood since Athens 2004, by four points.
2) The European and Pan American Games were held in Baku and Toronto – respectively – between the middle of June and July.
Miguel Alvarino Garcia from Spain and Luis Alvarez from Mexico did the same in the men’s. Alvarez upset three-time Archery World Cup Final Champion Brady Ellison, while Alvarino beat Sjef Van den Berg from Netherlands.
Worth keeping an eye on all of them…
3) The Danish team had great results at the second stage of the Archery World Cup in Antalya early this year.
They won the mixed team gold with young pair Stephan Hansen – who became youth world champ for third time in a row soon after – and Tanja Jensen, had one silver with the compound men’s team and a fourth place with the recurve women’s team.
The Danish women have also been strong, not least thanks to Maja’s strong form, for some time.
There’s serious potential for host nation podiums for Denmark in at these 2015 worlds.
Two (point five) bold predictions
It would be impossible to make World Archery Championships predictions without mentioning Korea.
The Asian team has been for years on top places at all archery competitions with a huge line of Olympic champions on their list. Copenhagen won’t be the exception and the team will get quota places for both the women and men.
But with the competitiveness in both recurve team events – taking team golds in Copenhagen will be a tough ask, even for Korea.
The Danish recurve women team came fourth in Antalya – then lost to Italy in the quarterfinals at Baku 2015. No quite the podium, but close… and it’s nothing that home soil, family and friends cannot fix.
One way to follow
Follow live coverage from Copenhagen 2015 on World Archery’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WorldArchery.org.
Tune in for show target video from 28-31 July, then #CompoundSaturday and #RecurveSunday on 1/2 August, live and online on Archery TV