10 takeaways: Qualification at Antalya 2017

7 June 2017
Antalya (TUR)
Notes from the ranking round at the second stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup.

No huge scores during qualification in Antalya, but plenty of solid ones – especially considering the pick up in wind towards the back end of both ranking round sessions. Led by experienced archers, here’s your quick-take guide to qualifying at the second stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup.

1. Top seeds

Recurve men: Brady Ellison, USA (686); Jean-Charles Valladont, France (677); David Pasqualucci, Italy (677)

Recurve women: Deepika Kumari, India (672); Peng Chia-Mao, Chinese Taipei (667); Tan Ya-Ting, Chinese Taipei (666)

Compound men: Stephan Hansen, Denmark (710); Steve Anderson, USA (709); Demir Elmaagacli, Turkey (706)

Compound women: Sara Lopez, Colombia (701); Sarah Sonnichsen, Denmark (698); Yesim Bostan, Turkey (697)

2. Two halves

Britain’s Patrick Huston scored his highest seeding in international competition – sixth – and equalled his international personal best, with 670. Atanu Das was ranked 33rd at halfway, but clawed his way back up to 13th with a strong showing on the back straight.

Patrick: “It's my first top eight finish, which is a goal I've had for a long time, and I'm really really pleased about that. The second half was very tidy. I've just changed my technique to be working off the front rather than the back and it's just getting better and better and better.”

Atanu: “The first half was very bad, very slow, and then second half was about average. My expectations have gone up a little. I hope for the best this week; I can't say too much right now, but I'll give it my best and see what happens. I know there's a lot of people talking about me at the moment.”

3. Weather report

“We had a lot of what I call a quartering wind, coming from the wind, coming from the rear. Usually it would move to the left side, occasionally to the right side – so I tried to sight in so that a perfect shot in calm conditions would be on the right side of the X, that way I’m favouring the direction the wind is most likely to be moving,” explained Steve Anderson, second-ranked compound man.

Steve shot some beautiful runs of perfect-60 ends during the back half, interspersed with a single 57-point six arrows.

“We had some tough conditions at a recent event in the USA. Trying to remember how to shoot a little bit and occasionally when I feel the wind creep up on me I get some of those bad memories back,” he added.

“If you’re trying to shoot a 60 that’s tough. I’m trying to shoot a 10. The one in the bow I’m trying to shoot in the 10 ring. I don’t get to shoot them all at once, otherwise I’d focus on that one perfect shot for all six arrows.”

4. Strong shots

Hats off to Chinese Taipei’s Wei Chun-Heng, fourth seeded in the recurve men’s event – and always in the mix – and Aida Roman. The Mexican silver medallist from the London 2012 Olympic Games had a “disappointing” year in 2016, in her own words, but is finding an average she’s happy with.

“It’s getting much better. I’ve tried many things. I’ve changed my bow, my style of shooting – because sometimes you make mistakes thinking about the bow, but it’s not the bow – and I was scared to make those changes during the year of the Olympics. I’ve made those changes and its working for me much better,” said Roman.

5. Home soil

Turkish archers Demir Elmaagacli – who won the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in 2015 – and Yesim Bostan both seeded third over compound qualifying; Demir in the men’s event, Yesim in the women’s.

“Shanghai was pretty terrible for me, so it's good to get a good start here. In Shanghai I had a problem with the bow set-up, but we sorted it out in the training camp. I'm trusting the bow a lot more, and that made a difference today. Third place equals my highest placing in a World Cup, too,” said Bostan, who has been to the Antalya finals arena before.

In fact, the Turkish-held stage of the world tour has been kind to the host nation in recent years. In 2016, the compound men’s final was a lock before any arrows flew, with Evren Cagiran and Samet Can Yakali contesting gold.

Will that trend hold true in 2017?

6. Top teams

Recurve men: Italy (2018); France (1994); India (1989)

Recurve women: Chinese Taipei (1995); Japan (1942); Italy (1931)

Compound men: USA (2113); Denmark (2112); Turkey (2108)

Compound women: Denmark (2074); Colombia (2065); Russia (2054)

7. Internal battles

Mauro Nespoli finished fifth over the recurve men’s ranking round, two places and three points adrift of teammate Pasqualucci.

“It's been good, though of course I can shoot better,” Nespoli said. “I'm quite satisfied about this qualification, even though I lost the first place among the Italian team to David on the last end.”

David finished with a 57, Mauro with a 53.

“I broke the Italian record for the ranking round two weeks ago [with 692]. It happened when I was preparing for the Italian team qualification, which went very well, and I've been maintaining that level. Although I still want to be a little better for Salt Lake in a couple of weeks,” Nespoli added.

8. Kazakhstan

At one point during recurve men’s qualification, all three of our favourite underdog team were in the top 15 of the table. They finished 19th, 28th and 33rd – seeding 10th as a trio – and will face Chinese Taipei in the first round.

Talking of underdogs. Love the tasty match-up between Brazil and France one step below in the recurve men’s team brackets.

9. Top pairs

Recurve: Chinese Taipei (1343); India (1339); France (1328)

Compound: Denmark (1408); Turkey (1403); Colombia (1401)

10. Focus on the good shots

While the rivalry between the world number one compound woman (Sara Lopez) and world number two Sarah Sonnichsen bubbles, the former gave a lesson in performing at the highest level. When asked during practice in Antalya what the most common mistake new compound archers make was, she answered that people focus too much on the bad shots.

On the second end of the second half, Sara shot a seven.

“I had three Xs and then I shot a seven because it was really windy. My brain was telling me to let down but my body shot it. Then I shot two more 10s. It was my only mistake of the day, so it was really good to start the competition like this,” she said.

Despite the mistake, she seeded first overall.

The second stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 6 to 11 June in Antalya, Turkey.