Five archers to watch at the second stage of the 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup

Ruman Shana shoots at the fourth stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Berlin.

We’re another month into the outdoor season and we’re gearing up for another stage of the international circuit. The 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup continues with stage two on 17-23 May in Lausanne, Switzerland.

A total of 235 archers from 35 countries are registered to compete.

Who will join Atanu DasDeepika KumariBraden Gellenthien and Nora Valdez – the winners at last month’s season opener in Guatemala City – as qualifiers at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final?

The World Archery Excellence Centre will host this exciting event.

It’s the first time this year that we’ll see European archers really take centre stage. France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Russia and Turkey are all sending near-complete squads, although nothing’s guaranteed with representatives from four of the five sporting continents represented, making it the most diverse event since the pandemic began.

We’ve five picked out five archers we’re watching closely in Lausanne. Scroll down to find out who they are.

Ruman Shana shoots at the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch.

1. Ruman Shana

Who are they? Recurve man from Bangladesh.

What’s the story? Shana made history for his nation when he won a bronze medal at the 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships in ’s-Hertogenbosch, beating then-world number four Mauro Nespoli from Italy. It was the first time a Bangladeshi archer had won any world medal, and the podium finish qualified Bangladesh’s first spot to an Olympic Games.

In one of the final international tournaments before the Games – and the first major international since that historic day – it’s time to find out whether Shana was a flash in the pan, or on the cusp of sustained success.

What’s the goal? A podium finish.

Vital statistics

  • Age: 25
  • World ranking: 13
  • Best result: World bronze in 2019.

Lisell Jaatma shoots at the 2021 Sud de France – Nimes Archery Tournament.

2. Lisell Jaatma

Who are they? Compound woman from Estonia.

What’s the story? After a breakthrough performance in early 2020, Jaatma won her second edition of the storied Sud de France – Nimes Archery Tournament this January, despite the significantly disrupted year between the two competitions.

It was an assured performance from Jaatma, far less on edge than the match she shot to beat Tanja Jensen in the final in 2020. Can she carry that success into the outdoor season with a strong showing in Switzerland – or is she an indoor specialist?

What’s the goal? The final four in Lausanne.

Vital statistics

  • Age: 21
  • World ranking: 65
  • Best result: Back-to-back winner in Nimes.

Jessica Stratton competes at the ’s-Hertogenbosch 2019 World Archery Para Championships.

3. Jessica Stretton

Who are they? Compound woman from Great Britain.

What’s the story? Stretton was the gold medallist in the W1 women’s event at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, where she was the youngest competitor. She then placed second, after moving to the compound open category – which removes limitations on the equipment archers use – at the World Archery Para Championships in 2019.

Stretton is competing in the compound women's category in Lausanne alongside able-bodied archers. She holds the para world record for the 15-arrow match at 148 points. She’s capable of doing damage at this event – even though it’s her debut on the Hyundai Archery World Cup – and it will be a good marker of where she’s at ahead of the Paralympics later this season.

What’s the goal? The final four in Lausanne.

Vital statistics

  • Age: 21
  • World ranking: Unranked in able-bodied competition, third in the world as a para.
  • Best result: Paralympic Champion in the W1 competition in 2016.

Zahra Nemati shoots at the Tokyo 2020 Test Event.

4. Zahra Nemati 

Who are they? Recurve woman from Iran.

What’s the story? Not only did Nemati defend her Paralympic title from London at Rio 2016, but she also competed in the corresponding Olympics – and carried the Iranian flag at the head of the delegation’s parade during the opening ceremony.

Nemati is eyeing a third straight Paralympic title at this summer’s Games, and a quota spot for the Olympic Games next month in Paris, but she is well aware that neither of those tasks is straightforward.

What’s the goal? 660-plus during qualification if the weather is good.

Vital statistics

  • Age: 36
  • World ranking: 66 (plus fifth in the world as a para).
  • Best result: Back-to-back Paralympic gold medallist.
Mauro Nespoli shoots during the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Moscow.

5. Mauro Nespoli

Who are they? Recurve man from Italy.

What’s the story? Three bronze medal matches from four Hyundai Archery World Cup stages put Nespoli high into the top 10 in the world rankings in 2019. He also finished fourth at the Hyundai World Archery Championships – and won the European Games. Nespoli's silver after falling to Brady Ellison in the gold medal match in Moscow in 2019 was his first individual podium at a Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

In a recently released episode of Behind the Bow, Mauro spoke about his place in the pantheon of legendary Italian archers. Despite having been around for some time – his first Olympic medal came in 2012, after all – he only started winning internationally when he hit 30 years of age. The Nesp is in his prime, and it’s time to build his legacy.

What’s the goal? The final. 

Vital statistics

  • Age: 33
  • World ranking: 3
  • Best result: Gold at the European Games.