Salt Lake 2018: Recurve finals line-up and preview
Stage three of the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit sees four new athletes step into the gold medal match arena.
MAURO NESPOLI / STEVE WIJLER
Recurve men’s gold final
Once famed for shooting an insanely-high poundage bow for a recurve archer, Mauro’s backed off from the high-50s in terms of drawweight – but has secured himself a third top-eight finish on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit.
He was fifth in Shanghai and seventh in Antalya and whether or not he wins this automatic qualification match for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, he’s in good shape for getting a points invitation to Samsun.
Wijler debuted internationally last season, winning his first event at the first stage of the year and coming third at the World Archery Championships in Mexico City in October.
Nespoli has never won a World Cup stage; he came closest with silver in Wroclaw in 2014 – and, surprisingly, the world number 12 has only qualified for one Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, back in 2013.
The pair match-up well. Steve’s averaging 9.34 points per arrow and 76% match wins to Mauro’s 9.31 points and 67% wins.
What could prove decisive, though, is that Wijler was seen sporting a cast on his hand after eliminations. Allegedly it’s a small fracture – which he already had when he shot his matches.
The pick: Steve
DEEPIKA KUMARI / MICHELLE KROPPEN
Recurve women’s gold final
Kumari’s record at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final is incredible. Six career appearances and silver medals in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015.
The last time she won a stage medal, though, was back in 2015 – and the last time Deepika won a stage of the international circuit was in Antalya in 2012.
Her opponent in Salt Lake is a first-time individual finalist on the tour.
Twenty-two-year-old German athlete Kroppen, who is already an indoor world team champion since February of this year, has put together a solid season to date – and will be highest of the German recurve women in the World Cup rankings after this event.
Michelle is averaging 9.08 points per arrow to Deepika’s 9.21 and will need to shoot above her level, or for Deepika to falter, to take this one.
The pick: Deepika
RYAN TYACK / THOMAS CHIRAULT
Recurve men’s bronze final
After an excellent start to the season in Shanghai where he placed eighth, and only lost to world number one Kim Woojin, Chirault qualified 37th and lost a second-round match with sub-standard scores for the 20-year-old Frenchman.
Still a break-out candidate and shooting at the level of some of the world’s top recurve men, he faces Australian Olympic team medallist and 2014 world indoor champion Ryan Tyack in this bronze medal match.
Neither Chirault nor Tyack has won an individual Hyundai Archery World Cup medal. Chirault came fourth in Antalya in 2017, though, while this is Tyack’s first arena appearance on tour.
The pick: Thomas
GABRIELA BAYARDO / TAN YA-TING
Recurve women’s bronze final
An incredible story for Bayardo, who has been absent from the international circuit for over a year after moving from her home country of Mexico – for whom she shot at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – to the Netherlands.
At her first event in the orange shirt, she picked up her first top-eight seeding, her first medal match berth and the Netherland’s first recurve woman into a final. If she beats Tan Ya-Ting, it’ll also be Gaby’s first individual medal on the Hyundai Archery World Cup tour.
Chinese Taipei’s Tan has historically been one of the most consistent archers around and ranked number four in the world arriving in Salt Lake – but, for some reason, her match win percentage is low when compared to her peers.
It was only 40% on the season before this tournament and 68% in her career. There’s an opening for Bayardo to exploit.
The pick: Tan
The third stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place in Salt Lake City, USA on 18-24 June.