Medellin 2019: Recurve finals line-up, preview and predictions
A new season, a similar story – as Korea’s recurve team has found its way into every single gold medal match at this first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Medellin.
But so has Brady Ellison, twice. And it’s a leaner, hungrier – and seemingly better – version of the Brady that has found so much success at the international level for so long.
BRADY ELLISON /LEE WOO SEOK
Recurve men’s gold medal match
Two matches head-to-head in 2018 and one win apiece – so whoever takes this final will take a lead in the Ellison-Lee series. More importantly, though, the victor will secure that automatic qualification spot to the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.
Ellison is in a race with compounder Sara Lopez to be the first to five circuit champion titles. Lee came second at the final last year, his debut season as a senior.
Brady has dropped some weight. He shot an incredible semifinal against Sjef van den Berg – and he is determined to make 2019 all his. (Oh, and when was the last time he won a stage of this circuit? Here, in Medellin, in 2016.)
The pick: Brady
KANG CHAE YOUNG /MELANIE GAUBIL
Recurve women’s gold medal match
Twenty-one-year-old Melanie Gaubil has had a great week. She shot herself up from the 18th seed, putting up sets of 29 or 30 points when she needed to, to get through her five matches and make this final.
The issue she’ll have is that she’s also dropped in some sub-26 point scores, too. Kang Chae Young’s not posted less than a 27 so far this week – and holds a dominant advantage in arrow average.
Gaubil will simply need to keep everything inside the yellow to send this match the distance.
The pick: Chae Young
SJEF VAN DEN BERG /KIM WOOJIN
Recurve men’s bronze medal match
In 10 years time, Kim Woojin might just be considered the greatest archer to have ever graced the world stage. That, of course, does not make him unbeatable – and at this very event, he was defeated by his young compatriot Lee Woo Seok.
Sjef might just deal Woojin his second loss of the week.
For all his achievements, the Dutchman has only one prior podium at a stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup, coming when he won in Shanghai in 2016. But young van den Berg has found a new gear this season.
He was the first European archer to break the 690-mark in qualification earlier this month, shot his best international match ever – he said – in the semifinal he lost against Ellison, and is hungry to perform on the grand stage again.
The pick: Sjef
SUGIMOTO TOMOMI /LAN LU
Recurve women’s bronze medal match
One of these archers from Asia will leave Colombia with their first individual podium at an international level.
From a statistical standpoint, this pair appears a dead heat. In matchplay, Tomomi shoots 9.02 points an arrow to Lan Lu’s 9.01 – and the Japanese archer has won 60% of her career matches to the Chinese shooter’s 63%.
Either way, a medal for either of these teams will be an encouraging start to an important season – given that neither nation has found regular success in recent years.
The pick: Push
Team gold medal matches
Recurve mixed team final: Korea/USA – A debut in the arena for 15-year-old Casey Kaufhold at her first Hyundai Archery World Cup stage. She couldn’t have a better running mate than Brady Ellison – so whichever way this goes, it’ll be a phenomenal learning experience.
Recurve men’s team final: Korea/Australia – The level of the recurve men’s team event at this tournament has been exceptional. And Korea has been even better. Australia will have to put together something truly brilliant to win this.
Recurve women’s team final: Korea/Italy – Korea is the presumptive favourite, and has shot consistently higher scores than Italy at this event. At their best, this group of young Italian archers is capable of challenging.
Competition at the first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Medellin, Colombia runs until Sunday 28 April.