Olympic archery power rankings: May 2021
Welcome back to World Archery’s power rankings for the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Throughout the outdoor season, our stable of writers will assess the field of recurve archers in contention to track who stands the best chance of cresting the podium in July.
We will also look at a few names who have seen their chances spike or plummet, athletes who have peaked or troughed and archers looking in fine form as the Games draw nearer.
With the first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City behind us, here are 10 archers – five men and five women – who are off to a promising start in their campaigns to secure Olympic Champion titles at Tokyo 2020.
1. Kim Woojin, Korea (previous rank: 2)
Even with Korea’s decision to forgo all three stages of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup, Kim Woojin sits atop our Olympic power rankings after officially qualifying top – as a resounding leader – for Korea’s national team last month. The two-time world champion hasn’t shown anything to cause doubt in his ability – and intentions – for Tokyo.
2. Brady Ellison, USA (previous rank: 1)
Brady Ellison was dealt an unexpected early exit at the first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City, falling to the Netherlands’ Gijs Broeksma in his first match of the individual eliminations. Still, the reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion delivered the fourth 690-plus qualification score of his career on the circuit. He’s a victim of his own high standards in losing a place in these rankings this month.
3. Oh Jin Hyek, Korea (previous rank: 5)
The London 2012 Olympic Champion has been rewarded for his persistence after delaying his retirement following the postponement of the Tokyo Games. The embodiment of perseverance, Oh has been a staple of Korea’s international squad for years – and who’d bet against him riding that stubbornness all the way to a second crown at this stage?
4. Mete Gazoz, Turkey (previous rank: 3)
Astonishingly, Mete sits here still without a quota place for the Games. But it’s hard to see him not winning one, either at the European Championships on home soil or at the final qualifier. He owns this position in the list due to his expected level more than on major event results so far in 2021.
5. Atanu Das, India (previously unranked)
Atanu had never made an individual podium appearance on the international circuit prior to his victory over Daniel Castro in the gold medal match of the first stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Guatemala City. Trailing after three sets in the final, he flicked a switch to exemplify the time of poise and precision needed to crest the Olympic podium on an Olympic stage. He is one-third of a full men’s quota for India at the Games. There’s a lot to be excited for about the nation’s Olympic chances moving forward.
Dropping out: Marcus D’Almeida, Brazil (previous rank: 4)
1. Kang Chae Young, Korea (previous rank: 1)
If Korea’s ferociously competitive selection process results in her headlining the team, we have no reason to believe Kang Chae Young belongs anywhere but at the top of this list. The current world number one and reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion is still the favourite for the Olympic title, even if she didn’t shoot in Guatemala City.
2. An San, Korea (previous rank: 3)
An San feels like the perfect candidate to upset teammate Kang’s chances. The youngster has impressed every time she has taken to the field, and she has booked her place in the Korean team for Tokyo.
3. Deepika Kumari, India (previous rank: 4)
It’s not so much the individual gold at the season opener in Guatemala that earned Deepika an improvement in these rankings, but the match that booked her place in the final four. Over in three sets, Kumari drilled volleys of 29, 30 and 30 points to beat Germany’s Michelle Kroppen. It’s a sign of that ruthless Deepika that we’ve all been waiting for.
4. Wu Jiaxin, China (previous rank: 5)
If her 689-point qualification round isn’t enough, the fact that Wu Jiaxin near maintained that standard through selections that coach – and Olympic silver medallist – He Ying described as “cruel” to make the team should be.
5. Lei Chien-Ying, Chinese Taipei (previous rank: 2)
Reigning world champion counts for something, even if we’ve had little news out of Chinese Taipei about Lei’s level as we inch closer to the Games.