Shanghai 2017: Recurve finals predictions
Korea’s recurvers dominated the ranking round portion of the competition in Shanghai, seeding first, second, third and fourth in both the men’s and women’s events. When it came to the matchplay, they weren’t so strong – with two of the four women out by the end of the third round.
Dutch men have come fourth at the last two Olympic Games: Rick van der Ven in 2012 and Sjef van den Berg in 2016. Sjef made the Shanghai bronze final but his compatriot, making his international debut, went one better.
Recurve men’s gold final:
Kim Woojin / STEVE WIJLER
“I didn’t expect to make the finals but I’m very proud,” said Dutch international rookie Wijler, who seeded 19th over the ranking round before upsetting Koreans Kim Jongho and Im Dong Hyun, plus Indian Olympian Atanu Das, on his route to the final.
An incredible run, but not one that can be favoured over the reigning World Archery Champion, 70-metre world record holder and world number three.
Recurve men’s bronze final:
SJEF VAN DEN BERG / IM DONG HYUN
Winner of the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Shanghai in 2016, his first big international victory, Sjef then finished fourth at the Olympics before coming runner-up at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.
Im is the longest-tenured member of the Korean squad (eight persons) but hasn’t often broken into the primary team (four members) in recent years. Im’s match win percentage is higher – 79% to Sjef’s 62% – and average arrow is higher – 9.48 to Sjef’s 9.33 – but it’s the Dutch archer who’s performed in the arena most recently.
Recurve women’s gold final:
CHANG HYE JIN / KI BO BAE
Olympic Champion 2016 versus Olympic Champion 2012. With only two previous international match-ups and those split at one a piece, this headline clash between two impressive Korean women could go either way.
Ki Bo Bae is the reigning World Archery Champion and Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion. She qualified second behind Chang, but has the pedigree in large matches. Chang, outside the Games, has only won one other major event.
Advantage: Bo Bae
Recurve women’s bronze final:
HAYAKAWA REN / KSENIA PEROVA
Shanghai 2017 is Hayakawa’s first international tournament since Antalya in 2014, when she walked away with bronze. She also took bronze with the Japanese team at the Olympics in 2012.
Her opponent, Perova, was runner-up with Russia in the team event at Rio 2016 and has been a regular on the circuit during Hayakawa’s absence. She has steadily climbed the world rankings and was rewarded with her first individual podium on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit at Antalya 2016.
The Russian archer is in better form.
The first stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 16 to 21 May in Shanghai, China.