Experts predict: Samsun 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Champions
What would a Hyundai Archery World Cup Final be without some bold predictions from our collection of writers, pundits and creative types?
This year’s season-ending tournament takes place in Samsun, Turkey, and there was an interesting wrinkle added to proceedings. Archers didn’t know who they’d be shooting against until Thursday evening after a random draw.
Will some of these unusual match-ups affect the outcome of the event? At the end of the day, all 32 of the athletes competing at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final deserve to take to the field.
And no matter the bracket, you’ve got to beat everyone to win.
Journalist and blogger
Chen is capable of beating everybody on the day – although this is a strong field – and Kris has had a solid international year, with the potential to stand out in a men’s field with only one big favourite (Mike).
The recurve men’s event might be once again a battle between the youngest and hungriest: Mete Gazoz, Lee Woo Seok and Steve Wijler. I pick Mete.
Perova is by far the greatest threat in the women’s field. If she hangs around and doesn't make an early unannounced exit, she might do what’s necessary. A three-peat final with Chang Hye Jin? Hopefully.
(The last two, at the worlds in Mexico City and in Antalya, went Ksenia’s way.)
Lee seems to enjoy shooting so much and goes into the finals without a care. The odds are in Steve’s favour. I predicted at the beginning of the season that the youngsters would run the show, and I’m sticking with it.
Schloesser and Lopez are the favourites. Mike’s won it all and is still hungry enough to win it all again. Both tough fields though.
Ludivine Maitre Wicki
At the age of 44, Sophie Dodemont has impressed in her return season and deserves her first title at the season-ending event.
I’m also sticking to my pre-season prediction of Verma, maintaining my trust in the Indian athlete’s talent. He finished second in his sole previous Finals appearance – why not first place this time?
September will be Lisa’s month after taking a second world field title and now a Hyundai Archery World Cup Final crown.
It’s difficult to choose between Mete Gazoz and Steve Wijler. Gazoz will be pumped in front of his home crowd; Wijler, as the new European Champion and world number one, could ride his wave of success.
Former international archer
Winners: Sara Lopez, Mike Schloesser, Tan Ya-Ting and Steve Wijler
With her individual golds in Salt Lake City and Shanghai this year, Sara has what it takes to win another title. She’s no stranger to high-pressure matches and I think she has the competitive edge.
The Dutch men: Mike has proven he can shoot well under any conditions and Steve has already accomplished more than most despite this being only his second year as an international.
Tan Ya-Ting’s biggest competitor might be her own Chinese Taipei teammate Lei Chien-Ying.
Winners: Sara Lopez, Mike Schloesser, Lisa Unruh and Mete Gazoz
Mike has won it all and will win it all again. Sara’s unbeaten in 2018 and, although she won’t have it easy, I see her claiming her fourth Hyundai Archery World Cup Final title.
Lisa has proven her determination time and time again since taking silver at the Olympic Games in Rio.
I expect either Kim Woojin or Lee Woo Seok to make the recurve men’s final – but I think Mete Gazoz can become the first host nation archer to take gold at this event.
I pick the one archer I think I can rely on to deliver three high-level matches, no matter the circumstance: Braden. It’s so difficult to walk out cold for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, into the arena, and perform at maximum.
If someone shoots near-perfect, they’ll beat Gellenthien – but anything less and he’ll advance and go all the way.
So Chaewon and Sara Lopez will meet in the semifinals; the winner of that match will win the event.
I will pick Deepika Kumari every time she qualifies for this tournament until she takes gold. After four silver medals, she deserves it for the perseverance and almost always being in contention.
Lee Woo Seok might be Kim Woojin’s younger clone, in archery terms. Except, in the long run, he might be even better.
The 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final takes place on 29-30 September in Samsun, Turkey.