Medellin 2019: Compound finals line-up, preview and predictions
The first finals of this new season and the first opportunity to secure those coveted spots at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final; Sara Lopez, Jody Vermeulen, Mike Schloesser and Braden Gellenthien have a shot at those first places.
Lopez hasn’t been beaten in matchplay at this level in over 18 months; Schloesser won two stages in 2018 and is the reigning world number one. Neither has an easy ride this Saturday.
SARA LOPEZ /JODY VERMEULEN
Compound women’s gold medal match
Colombia’s Sara Lopez has not lost a match on the Hyundai Archery World Cup since before the circuit final in 2017. She’s made gold medal matches at 11 stages in her career – winning nine of them.
(The two she lost were back in 2014.)
She’s the clear favourite against Vermeulen, although the 25-year-old Dutchwoman is on a little run of her own. Jody finished second at the last stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in 2018, in Berlin, making this her second final in a row.
Both will climb in the world rankings after this event: Lopez back into the top spot, Vermeulen likely into the top 10.
The pick: Sara
MIKE SCHLOESSER /BRADEN GELLENTHIEN
Compound men’s gold medal match
Last year, Mike averaged 9.82 points per arrow in matchplay to Braden’s 9.75. At this event so far and over four matches, Mike has dropped two points, Braden six.
Phenomenally, Braden hasn’t won a leg of this circuit since 2013 – that’s seven years ago – although he did win the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in 2017. Mike, meanwhile, took individual gold medals in Antalya and Berlin last year.
Both of those wins did finish with poor arrows from Mike. Braden performs in big matches – and it’s unlikely the Dutch world number one will be nursing a lead that will allow him a less-than-perfect finish…
…which might make Mike shoot… better?
The pick: Mike
TANJA JENSEN /ALEXIS RUIZ
Compound women’s bronze medal match
Reigning World Archery Youth Champion Alexis Ruiz makes her first finals appearance on the circuit at her debut leg of the Hyundai Archery World Cup.
The 19-year-old won two events of the Indoor Archery World Series this past winter season – and has that junior podium – so has enough experience to give Tanja a run in the arena.
She’s had a higher ceiling at this event than the Dane, and a lower floor. Ruiz’s biggest match score was 148 points, lowest 142; Jensen’s biggest 147, lowest 143.
Tanja didn’t podium on the circuit in 2018, after taking silver in Antalya and at the Final the year prior.
The pick: Push
JEAN PHILIPPE BOULCH /TATE MORGAN
Compound men’s bronze medal match
He’ll have had a shot at his first team gold medal at a Hyundai Archery World Cup stage prior to this match, which is a shot at his first individual medal.
Three years in the making, the 27-year-old faces somewhat of an unknown.
Tate Morgan was with the US squad at the 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships, where the team won gold, but aside from that has only previously competed at indoor series events outside the US. Within the States, though, he’s well known.
Boulch has been waiting a while for this opportunity.
The pick: Jean Philippe
Team gold medal matches
Compound mixed team final: France/USA – Sophie Dodemont has won mixed team medals when partnered with every man on the French team. This time she’s with PJ Deloche – and that’s a proven pairing. The USA will roll out Alexis Ruiz and Matt Sullivan, two newcomers to the scene, to challenge.
Compound men’s team final: France/Italy – The French trio beat the USA in a shoot-off, 29 to 28, for this final. France has arguably underperformed, given the strength of its individual archers. Time to rectify that against an Italian team that is no pushover?
Compound women’s team final: Colombia/USA – The two premier squads in the category, in what could be one of the best matches of the weekend. Colombia broke the ranking round world record early this week and came within a point of the matchplay mark in the semifinals, too.
Competition at the first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Medellin, Colombia runs until Sunday 28 April.