Berlin 2019: Recurve finals line-up, preview and predictions
There are 16 spots for recurve archers at the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Moscow – eight for men and eight for women.
Twelve of those are decided. Two go to the host nation, Russia. The last two are still up for grabs – and are dependent on the results of the gold medal matches at this, the fourth and last stage of the circuit in Berlin.
One of the Korean reserve women will bag a spot after their final. And Turkey’s Mete Gazoz, who was named breakout archer of the year after winning this stage in 2018, is not only representing his interests at this tournament…
…because while he’s certain to qualify for Moscow, if Mete wins the match, he sends Kim Woojin to the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final as well.
It’s not often that two-time World Archery Champion Woojin has his competitive destiny left in somebody else’s quiver.
An San /Jeon Ina
Recurve women’s gold medal match
This is arguably the most important match of the weekend. These young Korean women may only be on the reserve team – but one of them is headed to the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.
An San was runner-up at the World Archery Youth Championships in 2017. The 18-year-old was the top seed at this, her debut senior event, while Jeon Ina ranked seventh.
The pick: San
Bae Jaehyeon /Mete Gazoz
Recurve men’s gold medal match
Is it possible to not like Mete Gazoz? He’s young, he’s talented and he’s got these awesome quirks that make him so likeable as an archer. There’s the full-body twist before he shoots every arrow – and the full-fist elbow pump when he wins.
He debuted that second move last year in Berlin when he beat Lee Woo Seok to gold with that near-perfect shoot-off arrow. It’s another Korean he’ll face in the final in 2019.
Here’s a bit of behind the scenes: Bae Jaehyeon nearly shot at the world championships. Lee Woo Seok wasn’t feeling well days before the event and Jaehyeon was the first reserve… but was back in Korea.
His bow was sent to the Netherlands the day before qualification. He was on his way to the airport – but got the call to turn around. Woo Seok competed and, the next day bagged top seed.
Less than four weeks later, Bae Jaehyeon has made his international debut – and he’s shooting for gold.
The pick: Mete
Tan Ya-Ting /An Qixuan
Recurve women’s bronze medal match
Tan Ya-Ting has five bronze and two silver medals at Hyundai Archery World Cup stages across her career.
The world number two’s opponent was unknown before Shanghai 2018. An Qixuan took silver at her debut event and then disappeared, shooting only domestically until this year’s stage in China.
While the 18-year-old hasn’t climbed the podium again, she hasn’t finished outside the top eight at an international tournament. And she’s accrued enough ranking points this season to qualify for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final, whether she wins this match or not.
The pick: Qixuan
Oh Jin Hyek /Mauro Nespoli
Recurve men’s bronze medal match
It’s a pleasure to see Oh Jin Hyek back on the international circuit. Despite his niggling, long-term shoulder twinge, he’s made it clear he’s not close to giving up.
The first Korean man to ever win the Olympic title (London 2012) is giving Tokyo a shot.
Mauro Nespoli is having a fine season in 2019. He finished fourth at the world championships and has bagged enough points over this Hyundai Archery World Cup season to book a place at the final in Moscow.
He’s got a formidable opponent in this bronze medal match.
The pick: Jin Hyek
Team gold medal matches
Recurve mixed team final: Korea/Moldova – It’s the first medal for Moldova on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit no matter the outcome. Korea’s mixed team is Oh Jin Hyek, who is exceptionally experienced, and An San, who is new.
Recurve men’s team final: Turkey/Ukraine – Neither Turkey nor Ukraine has any men’s quota places for the Olympic Games. Berlin, next year, will be the final team qualification tournament for Tokyo 2020. Excellent practice.
Recurve women’s team final: Germany/Italy – The German women beat Korea for the first time in international competition to make this final on home soil. They wouldn’t let that go to waste, surely?
The fourth stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place on 1-7 July in Berlin, Germany.