Shanghai 2018: Recurve finals line-up and preview
It’s the first event of the young Hyundai Archery World Cup season but already Shanghai has thrown up one of the most promising finals of the year.
Kim Woojin and Brady Ellison went head-to-head for the circuit crown in Rome at the end of last year, and will repeat in front of the cameras to open 2018.
Watch for the women’s final to be an equally interesting affair.
Olympic Champion Chang Hye Jin lost in the Shanghai final in 2017 – and faces an international debutant representing the host nation, who’ll draw a notoriously vocal Chinese crowd into the spotlight.
KIM WOOJIN / BRADY ELLISON
Recurve men’s gold final
The last, the biggest, the headline match at this opening stage of the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Shanghai, China. Two of the transcendent talents of this generation of go head-to-head which, surprisingly, has not happened that often.
Woojin has five wins and one loss (back in Porec in 2011) against Brady head-to-head; the most recent of those victories was in the final of the last Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.
This is a new day, though.
The numbers show an advantage in the Korean archer’s favour: he averaged 9.46 points per arrow last year to Ellison’s 9.37; won 81% of his matches to Ellison’s 75% – and the two time World Archery Champion faces a US opponent with nerve damage in his fingers.
Entering the arena for his 254th career international match, Brady can never be written off.
The four-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Final Champion is always in contention, and won three shoot-offs in a row during the eliminations to make this final. Is there more of that magic left in his quiver?
The pick: Kim
AN QIXUAN / CHANG HYE JIN
Recurve women’s gold final
Chang is the reigning Olympic Champion from Rio 2016, the silver medallist from the last World Archery Championships and wins 73% of her head-to-head matches in international competition.
At 30 years old and having survived dips in form in her early career to rise to her current number one spot in the world rankings, she is experienced.
An, meanwhile, is not.
Shanghai is her first international event; and she’s brought a chance at something the Chinese team has not had since 2009 – a home champion at the Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Shanghai.
The pick: Chang
TAKAHARU FURUKAWA / LEE WOO SEOK
Recurve men’s bronze final
Japan’s Furukawa was Olympic silver medallist at London 2012; it’s one of just a couple of individual medals on his record, although the 33-year-old has been the consummate team player for Japan over the years.
Woo Seok made the Korean top team for the first time this year.
The winner of the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games won one shoot-off and lost another in the eliminations. At just 20 years old, he’s at the very start of a promising international career.
The pick: Furukawa
MAJA JAGER / VANESSA LANDI
Recurve women’s bronze final
The world number 36 (Jager) and number 38 (Landi) face off in a bronze medal final – and they’ll both rise in the rankings after this Shanghai showing.
Jager was world champion in 2013 and had a silver medal at the European Games in Baku. She’s been living in Korea at Kim Hyung Tak’s training centre for the last four years but just returned home to Denmark.
Landi knocked out World Archery Champion Ksenia Perova in the eliminations and enters the arena for her first final. She’s been tipped as one to watch by Italian coaches for some time.
The pick: Landi
The first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place in Shanghai, China on 23-29 April.