Turkey and China secure three team finals each as two more records fall
Turkey and China both have a shot at three team gold medals at the 2019 World Archery Para Championships after the finalists were decided on the eliminations field. With such strong performances from both squads, it’s no surprise that they will meet each other in two of the gold medal matches.
On Sunday, Turkey and China will contest the recurve women’s open team title. The Turkish archers confirmed their strong shape as they beat 6-2 Italy to advance to the final.
“We recently performed as finalist in Olbia and we are ready to secure gold. It’s what we want and what we came here for,” said Merve Nur Eroglu.
Zehra Ozbey is confident of conquering China.
“China is the reigning world champion but when it comes to winning, it doesn’t matter who stands in front of you on the line. You still have to beat them all. We feel prepared to shoot against them,” she said.
The Chinese team had a 6-0 semifinal victory over Russia.
“We did business as usual. We came here for gold, to defend our title, and it looks like we are going for it,” said Lin Dandan.
The W1 men’s team will also see Turkey take on China. That final takes place on Saturday.
Yigit Caner Aydin and his Turkish teammates are defending champions. Just like two years ago in Beijing, they beat Italy in the semifinal to secure a shot at gold – and they have high hopes for taking the title again.
“We took our first gold in Beijing in 2017, and we also won in Olbia [at the European para archery tournament] a month ago. I think seeing China in the final is a surprise but if they made it is for a reason. We do feel ready for them,” said Aydin.
Turkey’s third chance for team gold is in the compound men’s open event.
It was Matt Stutzman that confirmed the new record to the three men to whom he’d just lost the match.
“At the beginning, we didn’t understand we set a new world record,” said Ukraine’s coach. “We thought it was 236. Then Stutzman told us the previous world record set by the USA had been 232. And congratulated us on having beaten it. It was nice from him.”
Another world record was set in the compound women’s open team event.
China scored 236 out of possible 240 points during a quarterfinal victory over Russia. It’s a good sign for a team that missed the gold two years ago on home soil in Beijing. Now they have strong reason to hope for victory here.
“We shot one point more than the men’s record so I’m very happy,” said Zhou Jiamin. “We train a lot with the men’s team in China and 70% of the time we beat them. So I think we're the best.”
There will be a rematch of the recurve men’s open team final from two years ago in Beijing, this year in ’s-Hertogenbosch.
Reigning champion Russia will shoot against the USA after the latter beat China in a semifinal shoot-off.
“It feels really good. There was a lot of hard fight so that makes it even better,” said Michael Lukow. “Eric [Bennett] on the side told me: I had it all planned out. But there were a couple of ends that made us worry but we managed to get back together and finished it out strong.”
Lukow was on the silver medal-winning team that lost to Russia at the last worlds. He believes that the USA will win gold this time.
“It is going to be interesting, yes. It will be fun to go again for the gold against Russia. And now to get now gold instead of silver,” he said.
The 2019 World Archery Para Championships take place on 3-9 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.