Lei Chien-Ying upsets Kang Chae Young to win Chinese Taipei’s first individual world title

16 June 2019
’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
Chinese Taipei has its first-ever individual world champion.

Lei Chien-Ying upset recurve women’s world number one Kang Chae Young in a shoot-off to claim Chinese Taipei’s first individual world title at the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.

“It’s a very wonderful memory and experience,” said Lei. “It doesn’t matter that it’s a Korean. Whoever is there, you’ll get me.”

Both women were on their third of three appearances on the stage after their team and mixed team medal matches.

They each won a set of the final before splitting the third, both shooting 29 points. A nine and two eights from Lei in the third swung the momentum back towards the Korean. Lei was not fazed.

“I noticed the wind was going in one direction, but I also saw my opponent going in that direction. I knew I just needed to adjust,” she said.

In the fourth, Kang seemed to tense up, as Lei closed with a 10 to take the points with a 29 – and draw the match level at the end of regulation.

“I enjoy shoot offs very much,” said Lei. “I always just focus on nothing but the shot and the movement. I do a lot of preparation for them.”

Kang shot first, which is usually considered an advantage.

She sent a seven low and left. It was her worst arrow of the day. There was a huge margin of error for the archer from Chinese Taipei. She stepped up and put in a nine – not a great arrow, but plenty good enough to win.

Kang Chae Young, who broke her own ranking round world record earlier the competition, was philosophical.

“I will use this experience for the future. It’s true that there is a lot of pressure from the nation, but we try to use that as motivation, rather than pressure,” she said.

“I had two goals here. The first goal was to get the Olympic quota, and the second one was to win. So we achieved one goal. My personal goal is still to get three gold medals at the Olympics.”

Kang’s teammate Choi Misun buried Michelle Kroppen of Germany in the bronze medal match.

Kroppen never found her comfort level nor the middle of the target and lost in straight sets. It was the best performance of a difficult day for the usually dominant Korean women.

Having had the team also lose to Chinese Taipei in ’s-Hertogenbosch, there will be difficult questions to answer in the Korean camp as eyes turn towards Tokyo and the Olympic Games next summer.

The 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships took place on 10-16 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.