Familiar flags of Korea, Chinese Taipei lead recurve cadet ranking round

20 August 2019
Madrid, Spain
The Korean cadet mixed team led the ranking round with a new world record.

Kim Je Deok of Korea and Shih Meng-Chun of Chinese Taipei topped recurve cadet ranking rounds shot in the early evening at the 2019 World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid, Spain.

Kim was undoubtedly the number one archer of the session. He shot 10 ends of at least 38 points, had a nine-point lead after 36 arrows and finished with a total of 697.

He was 18 points ahead of his nearest rival over the full 72-arrow 60-metre qualification.

“It's the first time I participate in any international tournament so I focused on my balance and technique. It was good. I didn’t expect today's result,” said Kim.

The 15-year-old from Yecheon took up archery at school. He now dreams about taking Olympic gold but admits that might be a way off. A good result in Madrid is closer on his agenda.

“The most important are team matches, to become world champion in that. But I want to get gold medals both individually and with the team,” he explained.

Second seed Tai Yu-Hsuan of Chinese Taipei had 681 points. Mexico’s Carlos Vaca and Caleb Urbina were 677 and 670 in third and fifth, sandwiching fourth-ranked Cho Jeongu.

Law Kwun Pok, Ali Aydin and Josef Scarboro finished fifth to eighth. Scarboro beat Nicolas Bernardi in a shoot-off for the last top-eight bye.

Shih Meng-Chun was the most consistent recurve cadet woman on the field.

The 16-year-old from Chinese Taipei was second after the first 36 arrows, behind teammate Yang Ya-Jung.

While Yang’s performance dropped off over the back half, Shih remained relatively on point. She totalled 671 points and led Yeom Hyejeong of Korea by three.

“I’m very happy. It’s my best score ever in the first round,” said Shih, referring to that front half. “The wind compared to Chinese Taipei is stronger. So the movement can’t be so smooth. I just set my mind to shooting more cleanly.”

Casey Kaufhold was the highest-seeded archer from outside Asia, ranking third. She scored 663 points.

“I’m very happy. Not all of the arrows went where I wanted them to but I was happy I managed to keep it together,” she said. “I could’ve done better, but I'm satisfied with my place.”

Kaufhold is perhaps more used to shooting the senior distance of 70 metres rather than the 60 used for the cadet age group. She has been a member of the USA senior team in 2019 – and recently won a bronze medal at the Pan American Games in Lima.

The 15-year-old knew she could have done better.

“I need to work on treating every arrow as if it was my last and shooting a good shot every single time. I had two or three shots I knew could’ve been better today,” said Casey. “It’s just trusting myself and trusting my shots and it will be alright.”

Jeon Dohye, sole high-ranked European Clea Reisenweber, Chiu Yi-Ching, Ma Kaili and Sonoda Waka​ completed the top eight.

Korea took top seeds in the recurve men’s and recurve mixed team events. The latter was won with a new world record, shot by Yeom and Kim, of 1365 points.

Chinese Taipei’s squad took pole in the recurve cadet women’s event.

The 2019 World Archery Youth Championships takes place on 19-25 August in Madrid, Spain.