World championships 2019: Compound finals line-up, preview and predictions
The 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships is drawing to a close and just medal matches remain on the competition schedule. As has become the norm at this tournament, the athletes contending the spots on the podium are somewhat unexpected.
Compound women’s title contenders Natalia Avdeeva and Paige Pearce were seeded 11th and 20th, respectively, after qualification. It’s been four years since either medalled individually at an international outdoor event.
This is the 50th edition of the world outdoor championships – and the 13th that will award titles in the compound division. The first to do so was Jakarta in 1995.
Paige Pearce (20)/Natalia Avdeeva (11)
Compound women’s gold medal match
Paige Pearce and Natalia Avdeeva both have world champion titles to their names – but not from this event.
Pearce is the reigning field archery world champion. Adveeva is the reigning indoor archery world champion – and that is a crown she’ll retain indefinitely since it was recently decided that the 2018 World Archery Indoor Championships would be the last.
The Russian world number 33 seemed surprised she’d made the final after eliminations on Thursday.
Pearce thought she had the tough half of the bracket – but her closest match was a one-point win over world number one Sara Lopez in the quarterfinals.
Natalia and Paige are the only finalists to shoot an index finger trigger release. Natalia has averaged more than two more points a match than Paige here in ’s-Hertogenbosch.
The pick: Natalia
Anders Faugstad (68)/James Lutz (23)
Compound men’s gold medal match
Nobody picked this final before the competition began in ’s-Hertogenbosch. James Lutz arrived at the championships ranked 24th in the world, Anders Faugstad was 70th.
But Lutz made his international debut at the most recent stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya and won gold. He shot a perfect 150-point final, too – which is something so incredibly rare in a televised match it’s only happened three times in the last decade.
“I expected it,” said James, when asked if he thought he’d be shooting for gold at the world championships. “Other people may not have – but I always shoot to win.”
Reo Wilde was the last compound man from the USA to lift this trophy. That was a decade ago.
The pick: James
Jyothi Surekha Vennam (17)/Yesim Bostan (15)
Compound women’s bronze medal match
Yesim Bostan is the defending silver medallist at the world championships – and would pick up a second consecutive medal at the event if she wins this match.
World number 24 Jyothi Surekha Vennam has never won an individual international medal before. India has only ever had one individual medallist at the world championships. (Rajat Chauhan’s second place in 2015.)
The world number two is the presumptive favourite, averaging 9.75 points per arrow in 2019 to Vennam’s 9.69.
But Vennam – aside from her semifinal – has been great in ’s-Hertogenbosch. She knocked out top-ranked Tanja Jensen, shooting back-to-back Xs in a tiebreak.
The pick: Jyothi
Kim Jongho (1)/Braden Gellenthien (3)
Compound men’s bronze medal match
Some picked Kim Jongho as an early favourite to take gold at these championships. And that would have looked like a good choice when he seeded first over the ranking round – and started with three back-to-back 149-point matches.
But then in his quarterfinal, Jongho shot a 146. And he was beaten – by 68th seed Faugstad.
Still, this is the Korean 24-year-old’s first individual medal match at his fifth world championships.
It’s his opponent Braden Gellenthien’s fourth medal match in his ninth appearance at the worlds. Braden already has one silver (2007) and two bronze medals (2003, 2017) on his resume.
The world number two lost his semifinal to Lutz. As soon as he finishes this medal match, he’ll walk straight back out to coach Lutz in the final.
The pick: Braden
Team gold medal matches
Compound mixed team final: Korea/France – This is the third consecutive world championships at which Korea will contest the compound mixed team title. Kim Jongho has taken gold medals home the last two times. Now partnered with So Chaewon, will Kim and Korea make it three in a row?
Compound men’s team final: Korea/Turkey – Neither Korea nor Turkey has ever before medalled in the compound men’s team event at the world championships. Korea was ranked number six in the world arriving in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Turkey number seven.
Compound women’s team final: Chinese Taipei/USA – The USA previously won this title in 1995, 2003 and 2011. Chinese Taipei has only had one world champion at this tournament before – in this competition. This is the first of three attempts Taipei has to secure its second over finals weekend in the Netherlands.
The 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships take place on 10-16 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.