Steve Wijler named world #1 after European Championships win

The Netherland’s Steve Wijler was named world number one for the first time in his career when the new ranking list was released on Monday 3 September 2018, one day after he took recurve men’s gold at the 2018 European Archery Championships in Legnica, Poland.

Wijler knocked Korea’s Kim Woojin off the top spot.

“It truly feels amazing,” he said. “I really did not expect anything like this when I started two years back with international archery.”

Steve made his Hyundai Archery World Cup debut at stage one in Shanghai in 2017, where he won.

The 21-year-old went on to finished third at the outdoor world championships later in the season and be named newcomer and recurve men’s athlete of the year in 2017.

His rise to the pinnacle of the sport has happened very quickly.

“I am a fighter. I always have been and I always will be. I just want to be the best. In my opinion, everyone wants to be the best and I try to do everything to become and to stay the best,” he said.

Wijler has qualified for his second consecutive Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in 2018 and won his first continental title, taking gold in Legnica.

“The main difference between last year and this year is that now I know what it means to get a medal,” he said. 

“Last year I was just shooting and trying to have some fun. This year, I still try to have fun, but when it is medal time I know what is at stake.”

Steve won European gold by beating Moldova’s Dan Olaru in a one-arrow shoot-off and nailing a 10.

“I truly believe that shoot-offs are really cool to do. And to win it like that is just the cherry on the cake,” he added.

Turkey’s Yasemin Anagoz, Spain’s Andrea Marcos and Anton Bulaev of Russia also collected individual titles at the 2018 European Archery Championships, where it was Turkey that led the medal table with three total gold medals.

Wijler joins teammate Mike Schloesser, Korean Olympic Champion Chang Hye Jin and Turkey’s Yesim Bostan as the reigning world number ones.

The 2018 European Archery Championships took place on 28 August to 1 September in Legnica, Poland.