Antalya 2018: Recurve finals line-up and preview

24 May 2018
Antalya (TUR)
A rundown of the headline match-ups on recurve Saturday.

Chang Hye Jin and Kim Woojin won the individual recurve gold medals at the first stage of the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Shanghai, China in April.

Both return to the finals at stage two in Antalya.

If they win again, those automatic qualification places for the final in Samsun are lost, and extra spots are added to the points qualifying process.

Both are on-paper favourites to take second consecutive stage golds, but the arrows aren’t shot yet…

Recurve women’s gold final

This is a big one. A rematch of the final of the last World Archery Championships in Mexico City. That match was messy; reigning Olympic Champion Chang shot two blues and Perova won the last set, and match, with a pair of sevens.

On paper, Hye Jin is simply the better archer; this year, she’s averaging 9.4 point per arrow to Perova’s 9.2. But, somehow, Perova – who took gold in Antalya last year – always seems to find a way to win. 

She’s gritty and determined, and with Chang already qualified for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final after she won gold at stage one in Shanghai, dangerous enough to ride this one all the way.

The pick: Ksenia

Recurve men’s gold final

Earlier in the competition week in Antalya, Kim Woojin smiled and shrugged as he shot 55 out of 60 points with his last six arrows to finish with 697/720 for qualification; one of the highest scores ever shot, and three points off his own world record.

Woojin is in a world of his own in terms of performance right now. He’s the most accurate, most consistent recurve archer of this generation – and potentially ever.

But he is beatable. And if anyone should knock him off the top spot this year, it’s his own teammate, Woo Seok. Kim Woojin is averaging 9.56 points per arrow in 2018, his gold medal opponent in Antalya is on 9.46.

Nobody else is above 9.4.

The pick: Woojin

Recurve women’s bronze final

Lei is the undisputed boss of the Chinese Taipei recurve women’s team.

Lee is the rookie of the Korea recurve women’s team.

There’s a strong rivalry between the two squads, especially in this Asian Games year – as the two top favourites to contest the majority of medals in the recurve women’s competitions, both individual and team.

Chalk this one up to a training spar between two athletes of surprisingly equal level, but give the veteran the advantage.

The pick: Lei

Recurve men’s bronze final 

Ranked just number 44 in the world arriving in Antalya, Malaysia’s Khairul is only 26 years old. He made his Olympic debut at London 2012, losing to eventual silver medallist Takaharu Furukawa in the quarterfinals.

Khairul’s opponent in the bronze medal match in Antalya, Oh Jin Hyek, was the man that beat Furukawa in that Olympic final.

This pair are at opposite ends of their careers but there’s one similarity – it’s been a while since either climbed the individual podium on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit.

Khairul took silver in Shanghai in 2011, while Oh’s last individual medal came back in Medellin, in 2014.

The pick: Khairul

The second stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place in Antalya, Turkey on 20-26 May.