Copenhagen finals preview: Recurve Sunday

1 August 2015
Copenhagen (DEN)
Ki Bo Bae will have a chance at the world title she’s missing, but she will face an in-form Lin Shih-Chia who outpaced her in the ranking round for the top seed.

In the men’s event, World Champion back in 2011 Kim Woojin is up for a new world crown against Dutch Rick van der Ven who was team silver at Belek 2013.

Recurve women’s individual gold final (afternoon session): Lin Shih-Chia / Ki Bo Bae

Ki Bo Bae won gold at London 2012 to become 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.

In Copenhagen, Ki and Choi faced each other once again in the semifinals. After a fierce battle, Bo Bae won the match in a tight tie-breaker. She has a shot at a title missing from her long list of podium finishes.

Twenty-year old Lin Shih-Chia shot her season and personal best in the ranking round with 667 – eleven points better than her previous 656 mark – and took top seed ahead of Bo Bae by two. She then cruised through her matches, and said she was confident to win against the Olympic Champion.

Lin might have her chances as she’s been surfing on a wave of good results lately with team gold at the Universiade in July. She has also won three medals at youth world championships and a world cup mixed team bronze so far, so she’s used to high level finals despite her young age.

Advantage: Ki (difficult to bet against)

Recurve women’s individual bronze final (afternoon session): Laxmirani Majhi / Choi Misun

In the semifinals, 19-year-old Choi was close to beating her Olympic Champion teammate Ki Bo Bae for a second time this year, after the gold medal match in Antalya - but she failed by a hairbreadth in a shoot-off.

In her first season on the international circuit, Choi took medals at all seven events she competed - individual silver and team gold at the Universiade in July on home soil, individual and mixed team gold and team silver in Antalya, team gold and individual silver in Shanghai.

Aged 26, Laxmirani Majhi, for whom Copenhagen is her first international event in 2015, will try to stop this successful serie. In 2014, the Indian archer competed at Shanghai, Antalya and Wroclaw World Cup stages with a team gold in Poland. So she’s pretty used to medal matches.

Advantage: Choi

Recurve men’s individual gold final (afternoon session): Rick van der Ven / Kim Woojin

At just 23 years old, Kim Woojin has an enviable track record.

He won team gold at the youth worlds in 2009, the year he started competing internationally. Since then, he’s got eighteen World Cup medals – individual, team and mixed team alike – including gold at Tokyo 2012 Final.

At the worlds in Turin 2011, Woojin won both individual and team crowns. More recently, he added two medals to his record with individual bronze and team silver at the Gwangju Universiade in 2015.

Against him, for the individual bronze medal in Copenhagen, stands team silver medallist from Belek 2013 Rick van der Ven, who was also bronze medallist at the Lausanne World Cup Final last year.

In Copenhagen semifinals, Rick took revenge from his London 2012 semifinal to Japan’s Takaharu Furukawa. Fourth at London 2012 Games, the Dutchman’s best individual result at a world championships was ninth two years ago - but he has won a few medals at indoor and youth worlds.

Advantage: Kim

Recurve men’s individual bronze final (afternoon session): Takaharu Furukawa / Elias Malave

Olympic silver medallist Takaharu Furukawa had never done better than ninth at a world championships before he reached the gold final in Copenhagen. He’s already assured to do better, but has a medal at fingertips.

The 30-year old Japanese beat top seed and team Olympic Champion Mauro Nespoli in straight sets in the quarters, but then lost to Rick van der Ven from the Netherlands with the same score.

At 25, Elias Malave has clinched medals at continental events but not at world whampionships nor World Cups. He competed at Turin 2011 worlds and London 2012, but had not shot anymore on the world circuit since 2013 - a great comeback with a shot at world championships bronze medal, though!

Advantage: Furukawa

Recurve mixed team gold final (afternoon session): Korea  / Chinese Taipei 

The first and second seeded pairs, each had a tiebreaker in two matches out of three to reach the gold final. This match also features the two women’s individual finalists, Lin Shih-Chia and Ki Bo Bae, seeded one and two, respectively.

Ki Bo Bae returns to the gold medal match of the world championships mixed team competition for the second time in a row. At Belek 2013, the women’s Olympic Champion won the title with men’s Olympic Champion Oh Jin Hyek. In Copenhagen she shot with Ku Bonchan for the first time but admitted they are getting along quite well, having fun in the mixed event.

Twenty-two year old Lin Shih-Chia left a strong impression throughout the competition although she admitted being very nervous in her semifinal, so eagerly wishing to win it. She beat her personal best in qualification to take top seed ahead of Bo Bae.

In the mixed team event Lin is paired with fellow-countryman Gu Xuesong.

Advantage: Korea

Recurve women’s team gold final (morning session): Russia  / India 

The fifth seeded team Russia posted a win over top team Korea in semifinal to earn the right to play the world title. Inna Stepanova, Tuyana Dashidorzhieva and Ksenia Perova will still have to pass India before raising arms to the sky.

Deepika Kumari, Majhi Laxmirani and Buriuly Rimil, ranked 10th as a team in Copenhagen, took well advantage of the second seed’s early defeat. Chinese Taipei loss to number 15 Colombia in the first round opened their side of the match-play bracket.

With the experience of three-time World Cup Final runner-up Kumari and current form of Laxmirani, who will also shoot in the individual bronze medal match at these worlds, India is still a big fish.

Advantage: Russia

Recurve men’s team gold final (morning session): Korea  / Italy 

With Olympic Champion Oh Jin Hyek, 2011 World Champion Kim Woojin and Ku Bonchan - who just won team gold at Universiade on home soil with Woojin - Korea is the mammoth of the recurve men’s event.

The top seeded team, they face second seed Italy for gold in Copenhagen.

The reigning Olympic Champions Mauro Nespoli and Michele Frangilli, with newbie David Pasqualucci, might be considered the luckiest team so far in these world championships. Second seeded, Italy survived three shoot-offs in all three rounds they shot before the final in Copenhagen.

Even more: In their quarterfinal match against China, the first two arrows of each team were the exact same distance from the centre. The third tie-breakers were measured – a first at an international event since the rule came into effect – and it was just one millimetre in favour of Italy…

Will the gold medal match between the event’s first and second seeded teams also be decided on a tie-breaker? The two teams are familiar to each other and each know the fight will be fierce.

Advantage: Italy (because Lady Luck’s on their side)