Olympic medallist Furukawa at first World Cup in three years

Takaharu Furukawa in action at Yankton 2021

Takaharu Furukawa brought Japan two medals at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, collecting bronze in both the recurve men’s individual and men’s team events.

Following that successful performance on home soil, the experienced archer then finished inside the top 20 (17th) at the Yankton 2021 Hyundai World Archery Championships, being eliminated by last year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion, Jack Williams.

This week, he makes his 2022 circuit debut at the second stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Gwangju, Korea. It will be his first appearance on the international tour in three years.

“I’m happy to shoot in Korea. It’s a really strong country in archery so I'm happy that I can compete here,” he said during practice.

Even though Furukawa has not performed internationally recently and almost 10 months have passed since Tokyo, the world number 16 is not worried about his form, having shot plenty at home since last summer’s Olympics.

“It’s not a long time for me,” said the Osaka-based athlete. “I went to Yankton for the World Championships last September. We also had some competitions in Japan.”

Takaharu Furukawa with his gold medal at Tokyo 2020

Like most of the archers present in Gwangju, it will be the first time that Furukawa shoots at a stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Korea.

As one of the veterans of the tour, he was shooting on the circuit 15 years ago when Ulsan hosted the opening stage in 2007 – but missed that particular competition.

The 37-year-old archer, who has collected a total of three Olympic medals in his lengthy career, with an individual silver at London 2012 before that Tokyo 2020 bronze double, has high hopes of another major medal after the first practice rounds in Gwangju left him positive for the week ahead. 

“I’m in good condition and have no pressure,” he said. “I'm looking forward to shooting in the tournament and I hope I can win here – of course, I would like to win the gold.”

Recurve qualifying will take place on Wednesday afternoon in Gwangju.