Shanghai 2017: 10 things you need to know
In 2017, we’re back to a full-length, four-stop Hyundai Archery World Cup international archery circuit. With two new stages debuting, in Salt Lake City and Berlin, and a world-class final scheduled for Rome, this season is guaranteed to be an exciting one – and especially since it’s all over before the World Archery Championships take place in October in Mexico City.
As usual, Shanghai is the opening tournament. Here’s 10 things you need to know before competition begins…
1. The tour
The 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup season in full:
- Stage 1: SHANGHAI | 16-21 May
- Stage 2: ANTALYA | 6-11 June
- Stage 3: SALT LAKE CITY | 20-25 June
- Stage 4: BERLIN | 8-13 August
- Final: ROME | 2-3 September
Only the top-seven ranked athletes in each division, plus one Italian host-nation representative, qualify for the circuit-ending Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Rome. Every arrow counts.
2. Olympic hangover
Squad turnover in the year after the Olympic Games is no rarity but the teams shooting in Shanghai are relatively consistent compared with the previous season’s line-ups. Some notable absences include…
Crispin Duenas, Canada : Shooting other stops on the tour. Giving youth archers an opportunity to get international experience and be able to qualify for worlds team, since circuit participation is a prerequisite in 2017.
Crystal Gauvin, USA : Switched from compound to recurve during the indoor season. Ranked world number two in the compound women’s division, her departure from competition leaves a vacuum at the top-end.
Ku Bonchan, Korea : Failed to qualify for the Korean team just six months after winning gold at the Olympic Games.
Seb Peineau, France : Recovering from an injury and extensive rehabilitation, world number six Sebastien wasn’t at fighting strength by the time the French trials were held and failed to quality for the team.
3. Ranking record?
Two archers have equalled Ki Bo Bae’s world record 686 out of a possible 720 points for the recurve women’s ranking round since she set the score in 2015: Deepika Kumari and Choi Misun. The pressure on the mark is mounting – and Shanghai has pedigree as a record-setting field.
Mike Schloesser shot a then-world record 717 points for the compound mark in 2016, when Kumari also shot her 686, and Brady Ellison posted a 695. That was, at the time, the third-highest recurve men’s competition score in history.
If any record falls to open 2017, it’s likely to be the recurve women that do it.
4. Weather forecast
Although there’s due to be clouds early in the week and some during finals, the forecast for ranking round day (Wednesday) is almost perfect.
Sun. Comfortable temperature. Next to no wind. The three ingredients required for big-score conditions!
5. 23-match run
At the world level in outdoor competition, Sara Lopez is unbeaten in her last 23 matches. She didn’t lose through three Hyundai Archery World Cup stages in 2016 – although she then didn’t attend the World Cup Final – and is coming off the back of an incredible three-year run as world number one in the compound women’s division.
Heading into a season where she has a shot at the elusive world title (her last loss came in the semifinals of the last worlds in Copenhagen in 2015), how much longer can Lopez extend her impressive run?
6. 10 years
The Chinese financial capital of Shanghai first hosted a stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2006, the year the circuit opened, then has held a stop every year since 2009. The match above, a recurve men’s team clash between Spain and Indonesia, is the most-watched match from the event on our YouTube channel.
7. 23 Olympic medallists
Of the 306 archers competing in Shanghai, 22 of them own at least one Olympic medal.
Individual champions Chang Hye Jin (2016), Oh Jin Hyek (2012) and Ki Bo Bae (2012), all representing Korea, are joined by runner-ups JC Valladont (2016), Takaharu Furukawa (2012) and Aida Roman (2012), and bronze medallists Brady Ellison (2016) and Mariana Avitia (2012). Fifteen athletes have an Olympic team medal (or medals).
8. Bold predictions
Since I have already stated that the women’s world record will fall in our season-long prediction article, I’ve picked three other bold predictions for this piece.
Turkey’s Mete Gazoz will make the last four in the recurve men’s competition. After coming second at the Europeans in 2016, Mete made his Olympic debut in Rio. The 17-year-old world number 13 has long arms – which is the one truly natural physical attribute that makes shooting a recurve easier. He’s only going to get better.
Denmark will begin a dominant compound women’s team season. Tanja Jensen had a great indoor season and 2016 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final runner-up Sarah Sonnichsen, ranked fifth in the world, along with Erika Anear will be the team to beat in the division in 2017. Already the reigning World Archery Indoor Champions, the outdoor crown is within reach.
Chinese Taipei won’t qualify a recurve archer outside of the top 8. With no indoor season to speak of, the Chinese Taipei teams are in mid-season swing. While the Koreans will, of course, qualify high – they won’t be the only Asian team sniffing around the top seedings.
9. REgional spread
Being in Asia, the competition roster distribution tends to trend towards that corner of the world. Big (or full) teams from Vietnam, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, India and Iran will challenge Korea for the continent’s share of the Shanghai bounty.
Last year’s gold medallists in Shanghai:
- SARA LOPEZ – COMPOUND WOMAN
- MIKE SCHLOESSER – COMPOUND MAN
- JU HYEBHIN – RECURVE WOMAN
- SJEF VAN DEN BERG – RECURVE MAN
The first stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 16 to 21 May in Shanghai, China.