Beginners’ guide to the ’s-Hertogenbosch 2019 World Archery Para Championships

2 June 2019
’s-Hetogenbosch, Netherlands
Nearly 300 archers from over 50 countries will compete at the para championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch.

The Dutch city of ’s-Hertogenbosch is the archery capital of the world for the next two weeks. This year’s World Archery Para Championships and Hyundai World Archery Championships are combined – the former running over 3-9 June and the latter following on 10-16 June.

And both of these championships are critical. Not only do they award world titles but they also act as the primary qualification tournaments for the next Paralympic and Olympic Games.

First up is the para championships. It’s the largest in the tournament’s 21-year history. There are 80 places for Tokyo 2020 available to the 52 nations that have sent teams, and competition will be fierce.

Factsheet: World Archery Para Championships

  • Venues: The Dukes (qualification and elimination) and Parade (finals)
  • Dates: 3-9 June
  • Number of athletes: 292 from 52 countries (67 recurve men open, 36 recurve women open, 79 compound men open, 50 compound women open, 30 W1 men, 13 W1 women, nine visually impaired 1, eight visually impaired 2/3)
  • Medals: 16


  • Monday 3 June: Qualification
  • Tuesday 4 June: Qualification and eliminations
  • Wednesday 5 June: Eliminations, visually impaired finals
  • Thursday 6 June: Eliminations
  • Friday 7 June: Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games secondary qualification tournament
  • Saturday 8 June: Compound open and W1 finals
  • Sunday 9 June: Recurve open finals

Reigning World Para Champions

These are the results from the 2017 World Archery Para Championships in Beijing, China. (No W1 women’s team or visually impaired titles were awarded in 2017.)



  • Recurve men open team: Russia
  • Recurve women open team: China
  • Recurve open mixed team: Italy
  • Compound men open team: Italy
  • Compound women open team: Iran
  • Compound open mixed team: Russia
  • W1 men team: Turkey
  • W1 mixed team: Great Britain

5 storylines

1. Paralympic places. Undoubtedly the biggest storyline of these para world championships is the quest for quota spots at the 2020 Paralympic Games. An incredible 80 of the 140 places for the competition at Tokyo are available in Den Bosch.

A more in-depth explanation of the qualification process will follow over the next couple of days.

2. World title number three? Zahra Nemati is one of the biggest names in para archery. The two-time Paralympic Champion is also a two-time world champion, defending her crown from 2017 in Den Bosch this year. She was the only Paralympian in 2016 to also compete at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Nemati is staying in ’s-Hertogenbosch for two straight weeks, competing at the para championships at the Hyundai World Archery Championships – and she has a chance at winning places for both the Olympic and Paralympics in Tokyo 2020 again.

3. The venue. This is definitely the biggest stage the World Archery Para Championships has ever had.

The organisers in Den Bosch haven’t just made fantastic qualification and finals venues for both the upcoming championships – the archers in which will shoot in exactly the same place – but there’s a huge festival-style village, too. Aside from the archery stuff, there’s a cinema, escape room, themed restaurants and plenty more.

4. Five of the six. All but one of the Paralympic Champions from Rio 2016 are shooting at these world championships. Great Britain’s John Walker is the only one missing. Another Brit, Jessica Stretton​, has moved to the compound women’s open category from the W1 division in which she took gold in Brazil.

5. Gold, again? Alberto “Rolly” Simonelli is one of the best para athletes and one of the best compound archers to come out of Italy. But he’s not got a great record in finals.

Since winning the world champion title in Stoke Mandeville in 1998, Rolly has had a bunch of silver medals – including at the Donaueschingen 2015 World Archery Para Championships and the Paralympic Games in 2008 and 2016.


The world ranked number one para archers in each individual division as they arrive in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.

Competition format

Recurve para athletes shoot at 122cm targets set 70 metres away, with 10 scoring zones. Competition starts with a 72-arrow ranking round, used to seed athletes, and is followed by knock-out elimination matches resolved using the set system.

In the set system, athletes shoot sets of three arrows. The highest-scoring athlete in each set receives two set points; a draw awards one set point to each athlete. The first athlete to accrue six set points wins the match. (Teams shoot sets of six arrows and mixed teams shoot sets of four arrows, two per athlete. The first team or mixed team to five set points wins the match.)

Compound and W1 para athletes shoot at 80cm targets set 50 metres away, with 10 scoring zones (the outer four are removed for compound archers). Competition starts with a 72-arrow ranking round, used to seed athletes, and is followed by knock-out elimination matches resolved using cumulative scoring.

Under cumulative scoring, athletes shoot 15 arrows, in five ends of three arrows, and the highest-scoring athlete wins the match. (Teams shoot 24 arrows and mixed teams shoot 16 arrows, two per athlete per end.)


Read full explanations of the para archery competition categories.

Compound open athletes usually have impairment in either the top or bottom halves of their bodies. They compete from a wheelchair, stool or stand and use a standard compound bow.

Recurve open athletes usually have impairment in either the top or bottom halves of their bodies. They compete from a wheelchair, stool or stand and use a standard recurve bow.

W1 athletes have impairment in both the top and bottom of their bodies, compete while seated in a wheelchair and may shoot with either a recurve or compound bow – although there are slightly different equipment restrictions when compared with the other categories.

In the W1 division, archers shooting recurve bows may also use mechanical release aids, while all bows are limited to 45lbs in peak draw weight and may not have peep sights, magnifying scopes or levelling bubbles.

The 2019 World Archery Para Championships take place on 3-9 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.