Rome 2017 competition preview #3: Recurve women
Archery’s annual international tour took athletes to Shanghai, Antalya, Salt Lake City and Berlin in 2017, as the world’s best shooters looked to secure ranking points towards qualifying for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.
With the ranking lists settled after stage four, seven archers in each competition category – plus the top ranked mixed teams – were invited to Rome. Joined by an Italian host-nation representative at this 12th edition of the event, they’ll contest coveted Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion crowns.
All the previews
- Compound women (26 August)
- Compound men (27 August)
- Expert predictions (28 August)
- Recurve women (29 August)
- Recurve men (30 August)
- Mixed team (31 August)
Statsheet #3: Recurve women
- Number of athletes: 8
- Number of nations: 7
- Defending Champion: Ki Bo Bae
- World number one: Chang Hye Jin
World number one Chang Hye Jin has produced some of the best arrows of the year – and done it all with a grin and a wave. Winning the Games in Brazil has spurred her on to further greatness, and she’s the one who’ll dictate the story of this event in Rome.
A semifinal that should probably be a final? If Chang Hye Jin, Rio 2016 winner, and Ki Bo Bae, London 2012 winner, both win their first matches, the Olympic Champions will face each other in the semis.
It already happened once before in 2017, when Ki beat Chang to Shanghai gold at stage one – but this tasty Rome arena semifinal could yield one of the best matches of the weekend, especially if both arrive in Italy in form.
(The seed for the event is given in brackets after each athlete’s name. Statistics are from the 2017 season only; average arrow in 70-metre ranking rounds and matches, match wins at continental level and above.)
CHANG HYE JIN, Korea (1)
Chang Hye Jin’s average match arrow score is an incredible 9.48, which is nearly a third of a point more each shot than the nearest competitor…
…or, in other words, she’s shooting about a point more per set on average than any other recurve woman in Rome. If there’s any year for the reigning Olympic Champion to win this event, it’s this year.
Average arrow: 9.44 / Match wins: 16-5 (76%)
KSENIA PEROVA, Russia (2)
The best statistic for Perova this season: She’s competed in three shoot-offs, and won all three of those tiebreak arrows.
Not the highest scorer, but a winner. Gold medallist in Antalya in 2017 and fourth-place finisher in Shanghai, Perova competes at her second Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in a row in Rome.
She came sixth in Odense.
Average arrow: 8.95 / Match wins: 11-3 (79%)
TAN YA-TING, Chinese Taipei (3)
Tan climbed the podium five times in 2017, twice winning medals with the Chinese Taipei recurve women’s team and twice in the mixed team – plus taking an individual silver medal in Salt Lake City.
She lost there to Chang, top seed in Rome, and won’t have to face her until the final (if she makes it that far).
Average arrow: 9.13 / Match wins: 11-4 (73%)
KI BO BAE, Korea (4)
London 2012 Olympic Champion and Rio 2016 bronze medallist, Ki Bo Bae is a perpetual fan favourite. The 29-year-old won in Shanghai but lost in the fourth round at the other two stages in which she competed.
A two-time winner at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, the reigning World Archery Champion defends the crown in Rome.
Average arrow: 9.24 / Match wins: 7-2 (78%)
ALEJANDRA VALENCIA, Mexico (5)
Fourth at Rio 2016, Alejandra made her first final of 2017 in Berlin at stage four, where she finished second – before taking bronze at the Universiade. She’s up to her highest spot in the world rankings yet, in third, and a podium in Rome would be timely ahead of the worlds in Mexico.
Average arrow: 9.03 / Match wins: 10-4 (71%)
DEEPIKA KUMARI, India (6)
Kumari has the second-highest average arrow in matchplay of any of the eight Rome-bound recurve women.
All three individual matches she lost in 2017 were high scoring affairs – two quarterfinals and one in the fourth round – and unless she’s unlucky in Rome, her per-arrow form is enough to see her podium a fifth time at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.
Average arrow: 9.23 / Match wins: 5-3 (63%)
ALICIA MARIN, Spain (7)
Three top-10 finishes on the circuit qualified Marin, the bronze medallist at the Baku 2015 European Games, to Rome. At 20 years old, she had her first individual medal match in Salt Lake City – and is an archer on the rise.
Average arrow: 8.91 / Match wins: 6-4 (60%)
LUCILLA BOARI, Italy (8)
Boari has average a lovely, round nine points per arrow in matchplay through 2017. She’s the eighth seed, but shooting about the same head-to-head scores as four of her peers in Rome.
Average arrow: 8.94 / Match wins: 5-3 (63%)
The gold final?
The prediction: Chang Hye Jin / Deepika Kumari
The Rio 2016 Olympic Champion has shot consistently better than anyone this season. She’ll likely face stiff competition in the semifinals from teammate Ki Bo Bae – but her toughest test should come from India’s Deepika Kumari.
A four-time runner-up at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, it’s surely Kumari’s turn to take gold?
The 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final takes place on 2/3 September in Rome, Italy.