Odense 2016 preview: Compound women
The 2016 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final runs 24/25 September in Odense, Denmark.
It features 32 of the world’s best archers, the top qualifiers over the year’s three stages in Shanghai, Medellin and Antalya, plus host nation representatives in the recurve men’s, recurve women’s, compound men’s, compound women’s and mixed team divisions.
All the previews:
(The seed for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final is given in brackets after each athlete’s name. Average arrow figures are taken from 70-metre ranking rounds and matches at world ranking events in the last 24 months.)
SARAH SONNICHSEN, Denmark (1)
Not only is Sonnichsen the top seed in Odense, thanks in main to a silver medal from the first stage of the 2016 season in Shanghai, she’s also got the highest average arrow – 9.6 – and best match win percentage – 67% – of the eight-strong compound women’s field.
Aged only 21, before the 2015/16 indoor season, Sarah hadn’t had any senior success. She successfully made the leap, jump and skip to the world-class international ranks in just a few months, and has a chance to finish off the season with flair on Danish soil in Odense.
Average arrow: 9.6
CRYSTAL GAUVIN, USA (2)
Crystal made her World Archery Outdoor Championships debut in Denmark in 2015. She finished second there, in Copenhagen. Back in Denmark a year and a little bit on, she’s shooting in her second Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in a row.
Gauvin only picked up archery in December 2012. Less than four years later she’s a staple on the international circuit.
Average arrow: 9.55
MARCELLA TONIOLI, Italy (3)
In 2011 and 2012, Tonioli was extremely successful. She won two stage legs and attended a pair of Archery World Cup Finals, finishing third in Istanbul in ’11. From 2012 to 2015, she didn’t climb the podium, individually – although won two mixed team world crowns with Sergio Pagni.
Her return to the individual podium came at stage two of the 2016 season. She finished third in Medellin – then made the bronze final in Antalya, too, finishing fourth. Those results earned her enough points to qualify for her third Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.
Average arrow: 9.46
INGE VAN CASPEL, Netherlands (4)
An international archer since 2009, Inge makes her Hyundai Archery World Cup Final debut in Odense. She, like many of the field, is having arguably the most consistent season of her career. Although she didn’t bank any individual medals, she finished top eight at both tour legs she shot in – and the European Championships.
The 25-year-old graphic designer has one individual senior medal on her record: A bronze from Medellin in 2014.
Average arrow: 9.48
YESIM BOSTAN, Turkey (5)
At her first Hyundai Archery World Cup stage, Antalya in 2014, Yesim came fourth. Two years later, she went one better, taking bronze at Antalya 2016. In two-and-a-half years of international competition, she boasts a 62% win percentage in matchplay, and has won both of the two shoot-off situations she has been in.
Average arrow: 9.5
LILY CHANU PAONAM, India (6)
The only Indian athlete to qualify for Odense, Paonam has had a quietly excellent season. Despite not picking up any medals, she was never below ninth in the individual stage rankings.
In fact, Paonam has never won an individual medal at a world event before. What better place to start?
Average arrow: 9.45
DAHLIA CROOK, USA (7)
A last-minute replacement, 16-year-old Crook – the youngest athlete in Odense – had just a week to prepare for the tournament. She said she visited her coach, World Cup veteran Braden Gellenthien, and had an “in-depth boot camp”.
“I’ve been watching this event on YouTube for years and it’s so cool to be here just to actually be in the World Cup Final,” she added. Crook finished second in Antalya, at stage three, during only her first Hyundai Archery World Cup season.
Average arrow: 9.43
ERIKA ANEAR, Denmark (8)
Danish representative in Odense, Erika moved over from Australia a few years back. She’s found her spot on Denmark’s women’s team, which collected gold in Shanghai and a world title at the World Archery Indoor Championships to start the year, in Ankara.
Her best recent individual results rank her in the top 10 – and she posted a career-best 689 qualifying score in 2016.
Average arrow: 9.33
Sara Lopez withdrawal opened up the compound women’s field. The two-time defending Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion was odds-on favourite to take a third crown as top seed in Odense. With Sara out of the picture, Sonnichsen moved into the top-seeded position and shoots against teammate Erika Anear in the quarterfinals.
It means a guaranteed Dane into the last four - and probably the host country’s best shot at a top placing at the 2016 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.
The gold Final?
Our prediction: Sarah Sonnichsen, Denmark /Lily Chanu Paonam, India
If there’s ever a chance for a top-seeded host nation archer to take gold, it’s Sonnichsen in Odense. She’s got results, talent and the path she needs to make the final. Her opponent could be anyone – but don’t count out India’s lone archer in Odense.
The low-key 28-year-old is ranked 20th in the world, finished top 10 at all three stages of the year’s circuit – consistent – and put in the highest ranking round performance of her career in 2016. If she took a medal in Odense, it would be her first major senior podium.
See someone else winning? Let us know on Twitter, @worldarchery is the handle.