Virtual competition circuit offers glimpse at future international stars

8 January 2021
Seoul, Korea
Wi Nayeon won the Indoor Archery World Series Finals in 2020.

Korean professional teams have been sending archers to compete on the Indoor Archery World Series for a few years.

In doing so, these previously unknown archers receive exposure they wouldn't otherwise get as members of the country's hypercompetitive national team. Finding success at these mass-participation stages around the world offers a rare opportunity for them to shine in front of a global audience. 

Last year’s Indoor Archery World Series Final saw Wi Nayeon crowned circuit champion. She beat compatriot and Olympic Champion Chang Hye Jin in the recurve women’s final.

Nayeon returned to the circuit – albeit remotely this year – to win the second virtual stage of the international indoor series with an impressive score of 596 out of a possible 600 points for the 60-arrow, 18-metre round.

Had the result been posted at an official event, it would have been ratified as a world record by a single point.

“I’ve trained a lot this winter season, and I feel really happy and satisfied with the result since it was much more than I expected,” she said. “I just wanted to do my best at the beginning of the competition, but as it progressed, the score got better and better and I became more nervous.”

Both Nayeon and Ryoo Su Jung, who holds the indoor world record at 595, remain in the 20-strong shortlist for the Korean team for next summer’s postponed Olympics.

The trials are currently led by none other than reigning Olympic Champion Chang.

Nayeon sits ninth. Su Jung is third.

“It’s my personal goal to participate and get a good result at the Olympics in Tokyo,” she said. “I want to be selected as a national team member and compete in international competition this year.

Nayeon is entered to the third remote stage of the 2021 Indoor Archery World Series on 15-17 January. Registration through OpenWAREOS closes at midnight CET on 10 January.

The 2021 Indoor Archery World Series is a mass-participation circuit of live and online archery tournaments.

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