Chinese Taipei cruises to clean victory over struggling Japan
The powerhouse women from Chinese Taipei took the team title on the beach in Antalya without dropping a set against Japan, in a performance which confirmed the squad’s status as one of the top women’s teams in the world. It was a morning in which the archers who handled the wind took the medals.
“We beat Japan today and we’re happy. Even though the nation is the Olympic host in 2020, by training hard we think we can beat them there, too,” said Le Chien-Ying.
A tense final started with a shaky end from the ladies in blue, but in response, Japan posted arrows all over the face.
With the Japanese anchor Ren Hayakawa struggling to find her aiming spot – or not trusting the one she’d picked – Japan never really got the ship on course, posting just a single 10 in the whole match (shot by opener Tomomi Sugimoto in the second end).
Chinese Taipei found the spot eventually, and shot solidly to finish the job 6-0.
It was the first World Cup medal for new wunderkind Peng Chia-Mao at her second senior international outing.
"It was okay, but I still think I can shoot better,” she said afterwards. Peng, junior world champion in Yankton back in 2015, explained the team’s strategy:
“For the first end, we all decided to aim at three o’clock in the eight, but we moved to the centre for the second end and found the point. It was great, but I have another match before I can celebrate. I’m just going to go and relax before the mixed team match this afternoon.”
Not only did Chinese Taipei win the final in straight sets, but the women didn’t surrender a single set point to either Ukraine or Russia in the elimination phase, either.
Heavyweight teams Russia and Germany contested bronze.
The Germans opened slowly, but the Russian second, Natalia Erdynieva, shot a four with her second arrow, and it seemed to rattle her team, who never looked comfortable after that. Germany shipped errors, too – but strong anchor shooting from Lisa Unruh seemed to glue the team together, and ends of 53, 52 and 51 were enough to take the match, 6-0.
Afterwards, Rio 2016 silver medallist Unruh said: “I don’t know why the Russian team were going so far left with their arrows, the wind was pretty steady.”
“I was aiming in the nine, and I felt a little more wind after the second end, so I aimed in the eight, and it was there. Maybe a bit shaky on the body, but it was okay.”
She explained that Elena Richter shot first as the team’s quickest archer, Michelle Kroppen replaced Karina Winter’s position in the middle – following her retirement – while she had always taken the third spot.
The second stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 6 to 11 June in Antalya, Turkey.