Korea clinches all three recurve cadet team world titles for second time in history

25 August 2019
Madrid, Spain
The only other time Korea won all three cadet team world crowns was in 2015 in Yankton.

Korea was dominant in the team competitions during finals on Sunday morning at the 2019 World Archery Youth Championships in Madrid. Korean under 18s took gold medals in the recurve cadet men’s, recurve cadet women’s and recurve cadet mixed team events.

It’s a welcome return to the world titles for all three teams. Korea swept the recurve cadet team gold medals in Yankton in 2015 – but did not win a single gold two years ago in Rosario.

Jang Mi, Jeon Dohye and Yeom Hyejeong started the morning with a 5-1 win over Russia in the recurve cadet women’s final.

“We’re really happy, it was an awesome game. We enjoyed that world champs! We're very proud and we hope in two or three years, when we reach junior division, we can be champions again,” they said!

The Russian team kept up with the Korean squad in the first set, as both shot six-arrow series of 53 points.

In the second, Jang, Jeon and Yeom drew ahead. They the sealed victory with a perfect 60-point set in the third. The trio, who had been vocal throughout the match, erupted in cheers.

Throughout the match, the girls were repeating chants.

“Please, calm down, focus on shooting balance, on aiming,” explained Jeon Dohye. “You can do it!”

It was the turn of the young men from Korea next. Cho Jeongu, Kim Je Deok and Kim Myeonggyu trailed Chinese Taipei after losing the first two sets of the match. They pulled things back to a tie – and, as Taipei’s groups fell apart, stole the shoot-off in front of Madrid’s Royal Palace.

“We believed we could reach the gold medal,” said Kim Myeonggyu. “We just focused on what we had to do. We needed to stay focused on balance and believe.”

The thrilling third set was followed by a moment of uncertainty.

Korea had 56 points on the scoreboard and Chinese Taipei had matched it. It would have been enough to claim the title – but there were two Korean arrows close to the line of the 10-ring that needed to be confirmed by the target judge.

One of them was upgraded and the Koreans were still alive.

“We almost lost that set, 1-5. My thoughts were whirling,” admitted Cho Jeongu.

After taking the fourth, Cho, Kim and Kim won the tiebreak, 28 points to 27.

To complete the triplet of titles, Yeom Hyejeong and Kim Je Deok paired up to defeat the USA’s Casey Kaufhold and Josef Scarboro, 6-2, in the recurve cadet mixed team final.

“I’m very happy to get another gold medal. I hope to be an international champion and I believe I will achieve many more,” said Hyejeong.

“I think it was a perfect match,” added Je Deok. “I think it’s because I'm able to be confident on the international stage.”

The Korean duo didn’t score less than 38 points in a single set.

Leading 4-2, they shot three 10s and a nine over the 60-metre range that is standard for cadet – under-18 – competition and sealed the title.

“After I won a gold medal in the women’s team final, I had more confidence,” added Kim.

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