Antalya 2015: What you need to know
It’s been just three weeks since the 2015 outdoor season started in Shanghai. In China, return finalists Sara LOPEZ and Seb PEINEAU put on performances in their respective compound finals and took early leads in the compound world rankings.
The Shanghai recurve events went mostly – if not all, thanks to Indonesian Riau EGA AGATHA – Korea’s way.
Self-confessed as their favourite stop on the circuit, the Koreans will be out to prove dominance in the last full international event before the Road to Rio kicks off at the primary Olympic qualifier during the Copenhagen 2015 World Archery Championships.
Here’s what you need to know…
Five facts: Antalya 2015
1) For the seventh year – out of the decade that Antalya has been hosting the Archery World Cup – the city’s archery club will host qualification at the event, while the finals move to the beautiful Konyalti beach.
2) Meet Malawi: two 20-year-old recurve men named Mark ABELL and David ARENEO will be Malawi’s first international archers come tomorrow. They had some trouble getting to Antalya but should make it in time!
3) The weather in Antalya is amazing. It’s a tourist hotspot. The temperature will average the mid- to high 20s all week.
However the odd rain storm can and does happen – and Friday is promising some precipitation. Worth keeping an eye on.
4) KU Bonchan, Korean recurve men’s winner at Shanghai 2015, came second in a shoot-off at Antalya last year. That is two international finals in a row (out of the two he has attended).
5) Antalya is the last big international ahead of the Olympic qualifier.
The team event is extra important: As nations will want to know where they lie in the primary quota event – and just how much work they’ll need to put in over the next two months to ensure Rio spots are within reach.
Check out the competitor list.
Four to watch
Kristina HEIGENHAUSER: Last international competition in 2013, when she won the worlds in Belek. Two years later – and with a different last name – Kristina, from Germany, is back on the field just a few miles down the road, in Antalya.
KI Bo Bae: Popular Olympic Champion Bo Bae had her year’s absence, commentated on the Korean team for her national television and said the experience made her understand what she needed to do.
Her first event back – Shanghai – brought bronze. The second?
Zach GARRETT: New USA recurve men’s squad member Zach already shot a 680-plus for a ranking round in 2015. A debut like that would likely put him in contention for a deep eliminations run.
Jan van TONGEREN: Young Jan, Nanjing Youth Olympian and medallist at the world indoors, has been giving his teammates some trouble for some time in the Netherlands. This is his first Archery World Cup stage.
1) Reo WILDE shot 150 12x to set a new world mark in the compound 15-arrow match in Shanghai, but went out in his next match against gold medal winner Seb PEINEAU.
World Cup Final Champion a decade ago, Reo went out in the third round in Antalya last year. How far will he take it this time?
2) Talking of records…
LOPEZ won gold two weeks ago in Shanghai. Almost straight after that, she shot 1416 on 1440 Round to set a new national record in Colombia – and another perfect 150.
This girl is on fire!
3) The French teams were disappointing in Shanghai. Well, all apart from the compound men who reached and won the bronze final.
While the French women – in the recurve event – snuck into the eliminations as the 16th-ranked team, the men did not make the cut.
With Pierre PLIHON returning to the team, the pressure will be on to bounce back, and quickly.
Two bold predictions
Russia’s compound women do better than the fourth place they picked up in Shanghai at the last stage. At this event last year, the Russians ended a USA winning streak.
The Japanese recurve men’s team beat the Koreans to gold in Shanghai, took a medal in Antalya last year and generally seem to be on the up.
Of course, team anchor Takaharu FURUKAWA picked up silver at the last Olympic Games – and as the countdown to the next heats up, it’s the right time for him to be hitting his stride.
Mark the Japanese men down for a second team gold in Antalya. (Bold.)
One way to follow
Read more about Antalya 2015 – and follow live coverage on World Archery’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and WorldArchery.org. Tune in for #CompoundSaturday and #RecurveSunday, live and online on Archery TV next weekend.