Top shot: The best archer at the first World Cup stage of 2019?
We make very few comparisons between compound archers and recurve archers. The bows are different, the rounds are different and the format of the competitions themselves are different.
But both styles require a talented archer behind the string. And, in the wake of Sara Lopez drawing level with Brady Ellison with a record four Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion titles, we’ve got a true compound-recurve crossover competition in progress.
How fitting, then, that two of the archers up for our first entirely subjective pick for the best archer of the first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup are Brady and Sara.
The Netherland’s recurve men’s team won the bronze medal shoot-off over Canada thanks to Sjef’s nerves of steel. He stepped up to deliver the 10 with the last arrow that the Dutch team needed.
He started his individual bronze medal match the same way – with seven 10s – and ended up losing to Kim Woojin by a whisker. He gets a mention over Woojin thanks to that work in the team competition and the equally incredible semifinal shot against winner Brady Ellison.
Sjef really won that fourth place in Medellin.
Chae Young started the week on top, leading qualification, and finished it in a straight-sets gold medal match victory.
Make no mistake, Casey Kaufhold was the better US archer in the recurve mixed team final. At just 15 years old, she did more than was expected in her arena debut at her first Hyundai Archery World Cup event. Had Brady’s tiebreak arrow landed a couple of centimetres over in the target face, it would have been her first win, too.
3. SARA LOPEZ, Colombia
It’s been so long since Lopez lost an individual match on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit that excitement over each win is somewhat tempered.
(She last lost the semifinal in Salt Lake City in 2017. That was 22 months ago.)
She averaged 148 points in her matches before entering the finals arena – where she did need a little luck to have her nine clear opponent Jody Vermeulen’s in the tiebreak to secure a 10th career stage win. If that shoot-off had been a 10, she might have been a spot higher in this subjective list.
2. BRADY ELLISON, USA
If ever there was proof of the power of positive mental thinking in archery, it’s Brady’s performance in Colombia.
He arrived wanting to win. Trailing in an elite semifinal against Sjef, he chose to shoot perfect – to win. And in the final against Lee Woo Seok, he never looked anything but on course… to win.
During his post-match interview, Ellison said he put himself at about 80% of his best. If he can find the last 20% and keep that unwavering commitment to victory, this very well could be the start of a big year for Brady.
1. MIKE SCHLOESSER, Netherlands
Sir Perfect shot 14 10s in a row to open the compound men’s gold medal match in Medellin. His last arrow, he held too long, landed wide left in the nine – for 149 out of a possible 150 points for the 15-arrow 50-metre match.
That was the lowest score he shot in matchplay at the event. (He put in two 150s and three 149s.) Along with the field-leading 713-point ranking round, Mike was simply the most impressive archer of the first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Medellin.
The first stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup was held on 22-28 April in Medellin, Colombia.