Stage two sets up 5th international meet between Kim Woojin and Lee Woo Seok
The budding in-team rivalry between Lee Woo Seok and Kim Woojin is set to continue in Shanghai after the two top Korean men beat Brady Ellison and Sjef van den Berg in the semifinals to set up a clash in the recurve men’s final at the second stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Shanghai, China.
Lee is the reigning world number one, Kim the number three. They’ve met four times in international competition over the last year – and three of those matches were to decide a gold medal.
Woojin beat Woo Seok to titles at the last Asian Games and 2018 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, while Woo Seok bested the two-time world champion at last year’s circuit stage in Antalya and in the semifinals of the first event in 2019 in Medellin.
“I’m ready for the fight,” said Kim. “This time I’m going to beat him. I think it will be a very interesting match and no matter the outcome it will help us improve.”
Their race for Shanghai gold started in the 72-arrow 70-metre ranking round, where Lee seeded first with 688 points and Kim followed in second with 683. Through four victorious eliminations matches each, Woojin has averaged 29 points a set to Lee’s 28.5.
“Just as him, I’m ready; I’m going to win,” added Lee. “Every time I meet Woojin in individual matches it is always interesting. I hope for a good performance against him.”
The recurve men’s last four in Shanghai was identical to that in Medellin.
But while Ellison won the first stage, beating Woo Seok in the final, he’ll face Dutchman Sjef for bronze at the second leg. Their semifinal in Colombia was one of the matches of the tournament – and a repeat of those fireworks in front of the arena cameras would be quite a treat.
Korea also has an archer in the compound women’s final in Shanghai, after So Chaewon beat the USA’s Alexis Ruiz in a semifinal shoot-off. It’s an opportunity for Chaewon to take her first individual gold medal.
“I was always in bronze medal matches, which was a shame. I decided not to make another here,” said So, who will shoot against rookie Sophia Strachan for the victory – and the ticket to the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final that comes with it.
“I think I can win here because I’ve been there in finals a lot, more than her, so I think that I have more experience. I can make it.”
The second stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place in Shanghai, China on 6-12 May.