Shanghai 2019: Compound finals line-up, preview and predictions
Mike Schloesser and Sara Lopez won the automatic qualification places to the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final by winning the first stage of the international circuit in Medellin. Two more compound archers will join them after this weekend’s medal matches at stage two in Shanghai.
It’s a second go for Braden Gellenthien, who lost to Schloesser in the final in Colombia – while So Chaewon is win-and-in and lose-and-definitely-out, since the Korean compound women won’t shoot any other stage this season.
They both face a rookie, shooting in their first individual final in their first season on the international archery circuit.
Braden Gellenthien /Brend Frederickx
Compound men’s gold medal match
It’s a second consecutive gold medal match on the circuit for Braden, who laid an egg in the final in Medellin.
Having made a bad decision to alter his bow tiller before entering the arena – to improve his aim – Gellenthien had arrow after arrow land high nine, as Mike Schloesser posted a confident 149-point match to beat the US archer to gold.
Good archers don’t make the same mistake twice and over his 18-year career, Braden has proven himself a good archer. This will be the 33-year-old’s 16th individual medal at a stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup; it could also be his fifth career stage win.
Brend Frederickx is shooting his first international event for Belgium as a senior in Shanghai. It’s a big debut.
Can he give Braden a run in the final? We have no idea.
The pick: Braden
So Chaewon /Sophia Strachan
Compound women’s gold medal match
Neither of these archers has ever won a stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup. Sophia Strachan is shooting her second event with the US senior team, Chaewon her third season on the international tour.
The Korean world number nine trailed only Sara Lopez on average arrow score in 2018; both shot around 9.72.
She picked up three individual bronze medals on the circuit last season – in Shanghai and Antalya, and at the final – and this is her first shot at a stage victory.
It’s also her only chance of qualifying for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in 2019, given that the Korean compounds will not attend any other stage. A victory here would secure that ticket.
The pick: Chaewon
Roberto Hernandez /Evren Cagiran
Compound men’s bronze medal match
This could be the closest match of the day.
Roberto Hernandez and Evren Cagiran are ranked 26th and 19th in the world, respectively, and each has a single Hyundai Archery World Cup stage podium on their resume. Roberto finished second in Medellin in 2015; Evren won Antalya in 2016, leading to him qualifying for the circuit final that year.
It’s the El Salvadorian archer who’s been better in Shanghai so far. He’s dropped just eight points through four elimination matches, while Evren’s 19 down through five.
The pick: Roberto
Alexis Ruiz /Luo Sha
Compound women’s bronze medal match
This is the first time in history a Chinese compound archer will shoot for an individual medal on the international circuit. (A compound men’s team took third at the inaugural tournament in Shanghai in 2006.)
The importance of this can’t be overstated. International archers are professional in China… recurve archers, that is; the compounders are amateur.
This being only the third time China has fielded a compound team on the tour – Shanghai in 2006 and 2009 the others – a little bit of success would go a long way to making the team including compound archers a more regular occurrence.
Alexis Ruiz won the World Archery Youth Championships in 2017. She beat Tanja Jensen to bronze at stage one in Medellin - and a second consecutive podium finish would be an excellent start to her first senior season.
The pick: Alexis
Team gold medal matches
Compound mixed team final: Belgium/USA – Two gold medal matches for the Belgian compounders here in Shanghai. Sullivan and Ruiz won gold at the first stage in Medellin.
Compound men’s team final: Korea/USA – This is a repeat of the gold medal match last year in Shanghai. The Korean men looked in control then, until the US finished with a perfect 60 to pull the rug out from under their feet - and steal the win.
Compound women’s team final: Korea/USA – The top two seeds at this event and two of the contenders for world championship medals later this year.
The second stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place on 6-12 May in Shanghai, China.