Experienced Im pipped to pole in Mexico by Sjef van den Berg
Dutch recurve archer Sjef van den Berg, 22, scored 676 out of a possible 720 points to seed first over the men’s ranking round at the 2017 Hyundai World Archery Championships in Mexico City, overtaking 2007 World Champion Im Dong Hyun in the last end.
“It feels great. To be honest, I didn’t know I was doing so well while shooting so I was just shooting my own shots and I was getting annoyed at my own shots,” said Sjef.
“I feel like there was a little bit of luck but it’s nice to seed first.”
Trailing by one point with six arrows left to shoot, Sjef didn’t think he’d done enough to jump into the lead.
“I didn’t expect to overtake him with a seven in my last end. But then again, I shot four 10s to make up for the seven. I expected him to shoot more than a 55 or whatever he needed,” he said.
Following a high-scoring morning for compound qualification, the recurve men’s scores seemed low. Sjef said a challenging wind, first left to right and then right to left, was to blame.
Im Dong Hyun’s score came in two points down on Sjef, at 674, one day after snapping a pair of limbs on the practice field in Mexico.
“I had a back-up bow that I had tuned back in Korea. I just trusted that. There was nothing else I could do,” said the 31-year-old Korean.
A decade since Im won his world title, he said he was “hoping to make these World Championships one to remember”.
Italian archer Mauro Nespoli seeded third with 672.
“I’m happy to win the third place. The wind was not easy to understand, and I lost the focus in the last end. I’m also happy for the team; David [Pasqualucci] also shot very well,” said Nespoli.
Italy’s team seeded fourth, behind Korea, Japan and the Netherlands.
Reigning World Archery Champion and world record holder Kim Woojin was tied with Nespoli on 672 but took the fourth seed with less 10s.
The 2017 Hyundai World Archery Championships run 15-22 October in Mexico City, Mexico.