Korean women find fun; return to finals field
The opening stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit did not go particularly well for the Korean recurves – and the nation’s eight-time Olympic Champion women’s team fell out of the competition well before the medal matches.
“Shanghai was disappointing for the Korean team, so we tried really hard to do better here,” said Ki Bo Bae.
Choi Misun added: “When we got back to Korea after Shanghai we worked a lot on our teamwork and how we approach the competiiton.”
Through their two team elimination matches, Ki, Choi and top individual seed Chang Hye Jin were cheering for each other louder than any other team on the field. It paid off – and they didn’t drop a set.
“Acting like that is to try and uplift ourselves and give the team a boost,” explained Ki.
Japan fell first, then China – and the Korean recurve women guaranteed a return to the finals field.
Chang shot first, Choi second in the rotation and Ki came last. Her final arrow in the third set of the China semifinal needed to be a nine for Korea to win the match, but she had more.
“I was so excited because as soon as I shot it, before it hit the target, I knew it would be a 10. Then it landed – right where I thought it would. I’m happy this arrow took us to the final,” she explained.
Interestingly, former women’s team coach Yang Changhoon, who was with these very same three women when they won gold in Rio, travelled to this stage of the World Cup tour despite not being in Shanghai or on the officially-announced Korean coaching staff for the season.
Korea faces a consistent Chinese Taipei for Salt Lake City gold.
The third stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 20 to 25 June in Salt Lake City, USA.