Early scare for Schloesser but compound final fours set in Gwangju

Mike Schloesser after confirming his final four spot at Gwangju 2022

The final fours in the compound men’s and women’s competitions at the second stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Gwangju were decided on Thursday afternoon – and of the eight archers, just one represents the host, Korea.

The winner of the season opener, Mike Schloesser, will go up against Steve Marsh while Nico Wiener will take on Mohan Ramswaroop Bhardwaj in the compound men’s semifinals, while Lisell Jaatma and Andrea Muñoz will go head-to-head for the right to play the winner of Dafne Quintero and Yunhee Kim in the compound women’s final.

After seeding first in Gwangju on Tuesday – qualifying top for the fifth consecutive stage of the circuit – Schloesser had to fight hard to advance.

He overcame Chen Chieh-Lun in the quarterfinal via a shoot-off win after they drew at 147 points apiece.

“I had very tough matches all the way around,” said the Dutch athlete, who shot an X (centre 10) in that clash to beat Chen’s 10. “I needed to clinch it in a shoot-off and I am really happy that I won but I was very nervous all day.”

“I feel more confident than during the qualification. I am getting there. It is still not 100% but it is getting better.”

Austria’s Nico Wiener clinched the world title at last year’s championships but will appear in his first final four on the Hyundai Archery World Cup this weekend. The 25-year-old said it was “really amazing” after the spotlight of the worlds win.

“Maybe, because people expect something from you,” added Wiener in response to whether he felt more pressure. “It is just about having fun with a bow and arrows.”

Gwangju 2022 archery field

No Korean archers will achieve a podium in the compound men’s competition with second-seeded Kim Jongho among those who failed to make it through. 

“It did not go too well,” he said. “I don't think it’s a technical reason. I did well in qualifying but I tried to do even better [in the eiminations] and that could be the reason. I aim to do better in the next competition.”

The compound women’s final four is absent world number one and top seed Sara Lopez, who lost to Lisell Jaatma in the last eight, 149-146.

The Estonian archer went on and qualified through to her second consecutive semifinal on the tour, following a bronze medal performance in Antalya.

“I am really happy, I felt very good today and just tried to shoot my best, arrow by arrow,” she said. “It was cool. It definitely made me more confident because the last season was not good for me.”

Lopez, who said struggled a lot last year despite winning both the world championships and the international circuit, is still to find the right rhythm in competition in 2022. She remains positive.

“I am not disappointed at all,” said Lopez, who will miss the next stage in Paris as the Colombian team focuses on the Bolivarian Games.

“The main goal is to get rid of the anxiety and I’m working on that. I am really surprised how I controlled it. I’m happy with how it went and there is nothing you can do when the archer shoots as well as she did. She got 149. It was almost a perfect score.”

Dafne Quintero in Gwangju after confirming her final four spot

The author of that near-perfect, Jaatma, will try to reach the final for the first time when she shots against the emerging Andrea Muñoz of Spain, who is in her debut senior season.

“I still don’t believe it,” said the world number 132. “I have shot very well so I am very happy with the work. I have been training all year round.”

“My level has improved and I’ve been working with my mental process which has been more than anything else that has made me improve that much. I am very proud of where I’ve come.”

Mexico’s Dafne Quintero is making her Hyundai Archery World Cup stage debut in Gwangju – and also joins Muñoz in the final four.

“This is the first time I am in the senior team and have already shot in international junior competitions but nothing like this,” she said.

“I know I am going to give my best, I was training a lot for this final, I have gone through a lot of competitions, and I expect the best of myself.”

Competition in Gwangju continues on Friday with mixed team eliminations in the morning and recurve eliminations in the afternoon.

Final fours: Gwangju 2022

The compound medal matches are scheduled for Saturday 21 May. The archers are listed in semifinal pairs and their seed is given in brackets.

Compound men

Compound women