Stephan Hansen: First match easiest on paper but reality tougher?
Stephan Hansen won a silver medal at the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Rome, his first appearance at the season-ending event. The 23-year-old took automatic qualification for his second a row by winning the Salt Lake City stage in June.
Pre-seeded at the bottom of the bracket as the second-highest points qualifier behind Mike Schloesser, winner of the 2016 event, Hansen said this time he felt different.
“You come here to shoot 15 arrows and that can be it. For me it wasn’t that far of a trip but some people come from the other side of the world just to shoot 15 arrows, so it’s kind of weird,” he said.
“[At World Cups] if you shoot a qualifying and you shoot a good qualifying, you get like ‘okay, maybe I lost in the first round but at least I had a good qualifying’. Here you come with nothing, maybe you shoot bad the first round and go home with nothing.”
For the world number two, the first round at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final is like a medal final.
“If you go through the first round, you will at least be in the semis, so it means you’ll shoot two more matches,” he explained.
Hansen’s first opponent was decided by random selection on Thursday evening prior to practice on the field of play. He’ll be facing the host nation’s representative, 2015 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final Champion and eighth seed Demir Elmaagacli.
"On paper, it should be the easiest match for me but it is not necessarily going to be like that,” said Hansen.
“You come here without knowing who are you going to be against who and you can end up against anybody. For example, it could have been me against Braden [Gellenthien] in the first round and we were first and second last year, so in that way it makes it a little unfair.”
It is the first time the random draw has been used at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final. Good or bad, the brackets are now set – and the focus turns to the targets.
“I just want to do a good shooting. The thing here is that you shoot 15 arrows and if somebody else has a good day, he can easily shoot a good score and then even If I shoot good, I’ll lose anyway,” said Hansen.
“So I just want to have a good feeling and control myself a lot more. It’s always a new day and it’s always a new competition.”
The 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final takes place on 29-30 September in Samsun, Turkey.