Samsun 2018 competition preview #2: Compound men
Is this the toughest line-up at the 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Samsun, Turkey? These eight athletes have average 9.77 points per arrow between them over the season; that’s about just one point dropped every five shots.
The top seeds and a pair of world archery champions in Mike Schloesser and Stephan Hansen figure to be favourites but the most interesting challenger might be the one archer in Samsun who didn’t qualify.
Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion in 2015, Demir Elmaagacli of Turkey received the host nation spot to this year’s tournament. He’s got the pedigree and the talent to make another run at the title in an event that only takes three matches to win it all.
Stat-sheet #2: Compound men
- Number of athletes: 8
- Number of nations: 7
- Defending champion: Braden Gellenthien, USA
- World number one: Mike Schloesser, Netherlands
- Competition start: 2pm CET Saturday 29 September
(World ranking is given in brackets after each athlete’s name. Average arrow given for 50-metre ranking rounds and matches, match wins and tiebreaks at world ranking level and above. Statistics may not be complete.)
MIKE SCHLOESSER, Netherlands – top seed (1)
Only the second compound archer to win world titles in outdoor (2013), indoor (2018) and field (2018) disciplines after the World Archery Field Championships in Cortina a couple of weeks ago, Schloesser arrives in Samsun as world number one.
Despite the success, Mister Perfect has had well-documented struggles with nerves in the finals arena – in which this short tournament is held.
At this, his fourth Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, how confident Mike steps onto the field will determine how far he goes.
- Average arrow: season – 9.85; career – 9.79
- Match wins: season – 29-6 (83%); career – 133-48 (73%)
- Tiebreak wins: season – 3-1 (75%); career – 8-15 (35%)
STEPHAN HANSEN, Denmark (2)
Hansen’s won the World Archery Championships, three world youth titles and been ranked world number one – but he’s never won the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.
(That sounds overly dramatic for someone who is still just 23 years of age.)
He came closest to the title at this event last season when he finished second in Rome to Braden Gellenthien, who returns to defend his title.
- Average arrow: season – 9.72; career – 9.77
- Match wins: season – 17-6 (74%); career – 116-39 (75%)
- Tiebreak wins: season – 1-2 (33%); career – 14-11 (56%)
BRADEN GELLENTHIEN, USA – second seed (3)
The defending Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion was a consistent finisher in 2018, making medal matches at the first three stages of the season. He took bronze in Shanghai, bronze in Antalya and finished fourth in Salt Lake City.
Despite not winning a stage, the two-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion (2012, 2017) qualified with the second-most ranking points of any of the seven compound men invited to Samsun.
- Average arrow: season – 9.76; career – 9.77
- Match wins: season – 16-7 (70%); career – 169-67 (72%)
- Tiebreak wins: season – 2-3 (40%); career – 14-11 (56%)
ABHISHEK VERMA, India (5)
A silver medal in Salt Lake put Verma in place to collect his second Hyundai Archery World Cup Final berth after he finished runner-up in his debut at the final back in 2015.
Abhishek reached a career-high world ranking of fourth in 2018.
- Average arrow: season – 9.74; career – 9.71
- Match wins: season – 8-4 (67%); career – 51-31 (62%)
- Tiebreak wins: season – 1-1 (50%); career – 5-6 (45%)
KRIS SCHAFF, USA (6)
Just two years into his career on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit, Schaff makes his debut at the season-ending event thanks to a second-place finish in Antalya.
Having collected a majority of medals to date with the perpetually favoured US compound men’s team, this is Schaff’s chance to step into the individual spotlight.
- Average arrow: season – 9.78; career – 9.73
- Match wins: season – 21-9 (70%); career – 38-21 (64%)
- Tiebreak wins: season – 4-2 (67%); career – 7-5 (58%)
PIERRE-JULIEN DELOCHE, France (7)
The former world number one from France didn’t contest a single individual medal on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit in 2018. He also never finished outside the top 10.
It’s proof that consistency was still key in a season that introduced the win-and-in automatic qualification of stage gold medallists.
Samsun marks Deloche’s fifth Hyundai Archery World Cup Final after 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2017.
- Average arrow: season – 9.72; career – 9.72
- Match wins: season – 15-8 (65%); career – 100-53 (65%)
- Tiebreak wins: season – 3-1 (75%); career – 5-6 (45%)
KIM JONGHO, Korea (8)
Statistically, Jongho has the most impressive numbers of any compound man this season. He won the first stage in Shanghai but ducked out early at his other competition of the year in Antalya, losing to Sergio Pagni.
He’s shot the highest average arrow of any qualifier save Mike Schloesser this season. Samsun is his debut at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.
- Average arrow: season – 9.82; career – 9.72
- Match wins: season – 11-1 (92%); career – 56-19 (75%)
- Tiebreak wins: season – 1-0 (100%); career – 4-3 (57%)
DEMIR ELMAAGACLI, Turkey – host representative (12)
Despite not qualifying outright, Demir will shoot at this home Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Samsun thanks to a host nation invitation. He’s probably the most dangerous of the four athletes in that position, too.
Elmaagacli has already won this event once, taking gold in his first appearance in Mexico City in 2015.
- Average arrow: season – 9.75; career – 9.65
- Match wins: season – 12-8 (60%); career – 76-44 (63%)
- Tiebreak wins: season – 1-1 (50%); career – 7-4 (64%)
The 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final takes place on 29-30 September in Samsun, Turkey.