Mexico City 2017: Recurve finals predictions
The headline recurve final at the 2017 Hyundai World Archery Championships is, no doubt, Olympic Champion Chang Hye Jin’s bid to bag the world crown, too.
Her Korean women also bid to secure a 13th team title on recurve finals day in Mexico City – against a loudly-supported home team in the Zocalo. The men’s team final is all European – France versus Italy – and two teams that previously held the crowns in the mid-1990s.
Here are the picks for the individual medal matches.
Recurve women’s gold final:
KSENIA PEROVA / CHANG HYE JIN
Perova does not shoot the highest average arrow, she doesn’t win the most matches – and she hasn’t shot the highest qualification scores of her season.
But the 28-year-old Russian archer has ground her way to the podium.
She took gold at the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Antalya, silver at the Final in Rome – and, let’s not forget, that second place with the Russian recurve women’s team at the last Olympics.
But Chang Hye Jin, Rio 2016 Olympic Champion, has that post-Games glow.
She’s shot the best international season of her career in 2017, she’s been the most accurate recurve woman of all – and she’s posted personal bests in both qualifications and medal hauls.
There’s only one glaring weakness in Chang’s game.
The 30-year-old has won just 17% of the tiebreaks she’s found herself in during her career.
Recurve men’s gold final:
WEI CHUN-HENG / IM DONG HYUN
It was only a matter of time until Wei took a major international win. He’s shot the fourth-highest average arrow of any recurve man this season with 9.37 – just 0.1 behind finals opponent Im.
And the Korean athlete is the more experienced in this match-up – but Wei was on form this week.
The ninth seed beat Oh Jin Hyek in the fourth round and reigning World Archery Champion Kim Woojin in the quarterfinals, by dropping two perfect-30 sets on him out of the gate, no less.
If he does that to open this championship title bout, Wei Chun-Heng will be difficult to beat.
Recurve women’s bronze final:
MACKENZIE BROWN / TAN YA-TING
It’s a first senior world final for Rio 2016 Olympian at – incredibly – Brown’s first World Archery Championships.
Mackenzie beat Olympic silver medallist Lisa Unruh and top seed Kang Chae Young – in a shoot-off – before falling to Russia’s Perova in the semis.
Tan Ya-Ting, a team bronze medallist at the last Games with the Chinese Taipei recurve women, won’t be an easy opponent. She’s got better stats than Mackenzie across the board and was runner-up at the Universiade in 2017.
It would be a pretty end to Brown’s giantkilling Mexican campaign to take this podium, though.
Recurve men’s bronze final:
ARSALAN BALDANOV / STEVE WIJLER
Wijler has come from nowhere. In his debut event at the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Shanghai, he won gold – and less than six months later, he’s contesting a world championship podium.
He and Baldanov are incredibly well-matched.
Both have a 9.17 arrow average, both are winning around 70% of their matches. A bronze medal would be an incredible close to Steve’s season.
The 2017 Hyundai World Archery Championships run 15-22 October in Mexico City, Mexico.