Qualifiers round-up: Moscow 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final

28 July 2019
Moscow, Russia
A full list of the athletes qualified for the final of archery’s international competition circuit.

The 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final will take place outside Luzhniki Stadium in the Russian capital of Moscow on 6-7 September. It is archery’s annual season-ending celebration of the very best athletes of the year – and only 32 qualify to compete at this tournament.

Eight archers in each of the four international categories enter a bracket and compete head-to-head until only one remains and is named Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion.

For the second year in a row, the first-round match-ups will be decided in a televised draw, which is scheduled to take place in the evening on Wednesday 4 September overlooking Red Square. The top two seeds in each category are placed at opposite ends of the bracket and all other positions are filled at random.

Any names followed by the city of a stage indicates the winner of that tournament. The numbers (1) and (2) identify the top seeds in each of the categories and an archer with (host) is filling Russia’s invitational place at the Final.

Recurve men

Four-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion Brady Ellison has long been the recurve man to beat on the international circuit. The storyline was his lack of world title to go alongside the World Cup success – until 2019.

He won gold at the Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch and arrives in Moscow as the world number one. He has a chance at an historic fifth career victory at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

No-one has more than his four to date – although compound woman Sara Lopez matched Ellison’s total when she took gold in Samsun in 2018.

Lee Woo Seok and, subsequently, Lee Seungyun withdrew from this event to focus on Korean selections for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, which are (already) underway when September rolls around. But three-time circuit champion and two-time world champion Kim Woojin is still in the line-up.

Mete Gazoz, Sjef van den Berg and Mauro Nespoli have all had strong seasons.

Recurve women

It’s been another quietly excellent year from Chinese Taipei’s Tan Ya-Ting.

She collected individual bronze at all three of the stages of the circuit in which she competed. And that’s important because it has the world number two listed as the top seed in Moscow and at the opposite end of the bracket to world number one Kang Chae Young.

In over a decade of international competition and across more than 30 career podiums on the Hyundai Archery World Cup – individual, team and mixed – Ya-Ting has never won an individual gold medal. We know it’s coming. The question is, when? Moscow?

An Qixuan and Zheng Yichai have led a resurgence in China’s recurve team.

Who wants to face Ksenia Perova in the first round? Despite not having the best season of her career, the 2017 World Archery Champion is well known for authoring gritty upsets. At home in Moscow, she might be the most exciting unknown in the tournament.

Berlin stage winner and 18-year-old An San, who Korean coaches have long pinned to have a bright future, withdrew from this event to focus on qualifying for next summer’s Olympics in Tokyo.

Melanie Gaubil was so close to qualifying outright and takes her place.

Compound men

It was the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Mexico City in 2015 when all four of the higher-seeded compound men lost their first-round matches. With the draw system now in place and the quality in this field – Moscow could be equally as messy.

Reigning World Archery Champion James Lutz only competed at two international events in 2019. He won the circuit stage in Antalya and then the worlds in ’s-Hertogenbosch. Unbeaten to date, he could face anybody in the first round in Moscow.

Russian host representative Anton Bulaev, who won the Universiade this year, is just as much of a wildcard.

Braden Gellenthien overtook Mike Schloesser to lead the compound men’s world rankings when the new list was released last week. They’re the two most consistent finishers on the circuit – but maintaining those high positions is becoming ever harder.

Talking of consistency, Slovakia’s first-ever qualifier for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final is Jozef Bosansky. No finals appearances in 2019 – but reliable, top-eight results.

Compound women

Colombia’s Sara Lopez did not maintain her iron grip on the compound women’s competition in 2019 – as she did in her unbeaten previous season. But the statistics show that it’s not down to a drop in her level.

Lopez is pacing at the highest per-arrow average score of her career to date in 2019 with 9.75 points. (Up from 9.72 in 2018 and 9.73 in 2017.) Sara’s match win rate, though, is down to 79% – which is the lowest since 2014.

Her competitors are raising their game. Especially when shooting against the four-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion.

New world number one Alexis Ruiz has had an impressive debut season on the international circuit. She was the only archer, regardless of category, to climb the podium at all four stages of the tour and she won in Berlin.

World Archery Champion Natalia Avdeeva, in Moscow on a free thanks to Russia’s host nation spot, has proven her ability to win big twice in the last two years. (She won the indoors worlds in 2018 before taking the outdoor title this season.)

There isn’t an archer in this compound women’s line-up who would be a true surprise if they lifted the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final trophy this year.

The 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final takes place in Moscow, Russia on 6-7 September.