Chinese Taipei launches pro archery league with athlete draft

Chinese Taipei has held the first event in its new professional archery league with 48 archers being selected in a draft to make up the six teams that will compete in the inaugural season.

Five of the six teams are company-sponsored. JSL Group, Caesar Park Hotels, Humble House Group, Taichung Commercial Bank and Boltun Corporation are joined by a youth squad put together by the Chinese Taipei Archery Association.

Each team picked four recurve men and four recurve women.

JSL, which had the first selection in both genders, made Tan Ya-Ting and 20-year-old Deng Yu-Cheng the top picks of the draft.

“I feel like I’m being recognised,” said Deng.

World number nine Wei Chun-Heng, who was picked behind Deng, said he thought the new league would help sustain archer’s careers in Chinese Taipei, where almost all elite sportspeople are student-athletes.

Wei also joked that JSL made the right choice in selecting Deng.

“He beat me 6-0 a lot in national events and trials,” he said. “I didn’t care about which pick I was selected, as long as I got picked!”

Wei was selected by the Humble House Group.

Other athletes taking part in the league include Lin Shih-Chia, Lei Chien-Ying and Tang Chih-Chun.

The first event in the new league takes place on 31 March at Taipei’s sports university. Twelve tournaments are scheduled throughout the year.

Teams are slated to shoot five matches at each event: women’s individual, men’s individual, mixed team, women’s team and men’s team.

The new archery league has been in development since 2014.

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