World Games archery preview #1: Recurve men

18 July 2017
Wroclaw (POL)
Event-by-event, World Archery’s run-down of the archers competing at the Wroclaw 2017 World Games.

Read the rest of our event previews:

Event: #1 Recurve men

  • Number of athletes: 12
  • Number of nations: 11
  • Defending Champion: Jean-Charles Valladont
  • World Champion: Brady Ellison

The one-to-beat

Ellison and Valladont are two of the greatest archers of their generation – and not just in target archery (both climbed the Olympic podium in 2016) but as all-round, all-discipline athletes: indoor, outdoor and field.

In Cali in 2013, JC beat Brady to gold in the final.

Since then, Brady has racked his Hyundai Archery World Cup Final win total up to four and, although the Frenchman placed higher at the Games, taken JC down twice in a row in last-four matchplay at the World Archery Field Championships.

One of this pair is odds on favourite to take Wroclaw recurve men’s gold.

The story

Forty-one-year-old Vic Wunderle won this tournament in 2009, when the World Games was held in Kaohsiung. Two-time world champion Sebastian Rohrberg came third that year. It wouldn’t be surprising to see one of the two most experienced archers in this small field climbing the podium again.

The athletes

Matija Mihalic
Croatia 

Experience: Junior world field archery champion

Intel: Winner in Zagreb in 2014, in the recurve junior men’s division, Matija also made it into the top eight in his first senior World Archery Field Championships in Dublin. As a target archer, he’s ranked 39th in the world arriving in Wroclaw.

Juuso Huhtala
Finland 

Experience: International team medallist

Intel: A student archer at Universiades and worlds from 2009 to 2015, Huhtala also boasts a team silver medal from the Val D’Isere 2012 World Archery Field Championships on his record. He finished 15th in Dublin, and seventh at the last World Games in Cali.

Jean-Charles Valladont
France 

Experience: World Games Champion (2013), Olympic silver medallist (2016), World Archery Field Champion (2012), multiple international medallist

Intel: The returning winner of this event at the World Games, JC is an accomplished field and target archer less than one year removed from his first podium at an Olympic Games.

In 2017 on the target circuit, Valladont is averaging nearly .5 points per arrow more than over his career – or 9.57 compared to 9.18. He became world number one for the first time after winning the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Antalya, and is one of the two favourites to win in Wroclaw.

Mark Nesbitt
Great Britain 

Experience: International junior medallist

Intel: Since making the leap from the junior ranks at world field events before his senior debut in Zagreb in 2014, Mark has finished just outside the top 10 twice. The 25-year-old makes his World Games debut in Wroclaw.

Sebastian Rohrberg
Germany 

Experience: World Archery Field Champion (2004, 2008), World Games bronze medallist (2009), World Archery Indoor Champion (2007)

Intel: This two-time world field winner finished third at the World Games in 2009 but missed out on attending Cali, where the German representative was Sven Giesa. The 38-year-old Rohrberg came second to Ellison at the last World Archery Field Championships in Dublin.

Karoly Buzas
Hungary 

Experience: International archer since 2011

Intel: The oldest member of the recurve men’s field, 47-year-old Buzas finished 18th in both Zagreb in 2014 and Dublin in 2016. His unmarked score at the last worlds was better than his placing, but he was let down by a lower marked round.

Amedeo Tonelli
Italy 

Experience: International team medallist

Intel: Active on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit from 2007 to 2009 – when he picked up a couple of team bronze medals – and a member of the Italian team that finished fifth at the World Archery Championships in 2013, Amedeo has big shoes to fill at the World Games.

Italian archers Andrea Parenti (1993) and Michele Frangilli (2005) have both won this event, and Italian recurve men have picked up a total of eight medals in the division over the past six editions.

Oonuki Wataru
Japan 

Experience: International archer since 2016

Intel: Just 23 years of age, the 17th-placed finisher at the last world field is a relative newbie to the international circuit – having only competed at the student worlds in 2016 prior to Dublin, and the Salt Lake City stage of this year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup event since.

No archer from Asia has medalled in the archery competition at the World Games to date.

Adam Scibski
Poland 

Experience: International archer since 2015

Intel: The host nation representative in Wroclaw (Poland gets one quote spot in each category at the Games), 27-year-old Scibski has shot at a number of legs on the European circuit since 2015. His best result came in Bucharest that year, when he made it to the third round. Adam came 29th at the world field in Dublin.

Jonathan Andersson
Sweden 

Experience: International team medallist 

Intel: A bronze medal winner with the Swedish team at the 2016 World Archery Field Championships, Andersson made a push to qualify for the most recent Olympics in early 2016. He didn’t win a spot, but did finish eighth in Dublin, four places higher than he did in Zagreb in 2014.

Brady Ellison
USA 

Experience: Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion (2010, 2011, 2014, 2016), Olympic bronze medallist (2016), Olympic team silver medallist (2012, 2016), World Games silver medallist (2013), World Archery Field Champion (2014, 2016), multiple international medallist

Intel: The highest-scoring archer on the field this season, and when comparing careers, in target events, Brady has also won the last two World Archery Field Championships prior to these World Games. 

A dead-cert to qualify high, it’s viable that Ellison could need to shoot just one more match before taking a medal under the new rules – and he’s won 77% of the 226 head-to-head contests in our database since he first competed internationally.

Vic Wunderle
USA 

Experience: World Games Champion (2009), Olympic silver medallist (2000), Olympic team bronze medallist (2000), multiple international medallist

Intel: Sydney 2000 Olympic runner-up Vic has won the field competition at the World Games before and, particularly in Americas continental events, has found plenty of winning form. He finished top-eight at the last two world field champs, including a fifth in Dublin. 

The prediction

Ellison has been unbeatable in field archery competition since the last World Games and been shooting some of the best archery of his career, but Valladont loves a challenge – and, time and time again, rises to whatever an opponent can throw his way. 

JC to successfully defend his World Games title in Wroclaw.

The recurve field archery competition at the Wroclaw 2017 World Games starts on 23 July in Szczytnicki Park.