World Cup win again for Schloesser, Kim celebrates historic Korean gold
Mike Schloesser won his second consecutive circuit stage and Kim Yunhee made history, becoming the first Korean woman to win a blue-riband event on home soil, at the second stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Gwangju on Saturday.
Schloesser converted a fifth consecutive top seed on the tour to a second-straight and eight total stage win.
“This one stage win feels even more special than the first one,” he said. “With the conditions we had here today I felt like I really mastered my shooting and the conditions. My gold medal match was a bit better than the semifinals and I could control it a bit better, I felt really comfortable.”
Given the challenging wind, the 28-year-old delivered two exceptional matches in the arena.
He stayed ahead of the USA’s Steve Marsh in his semifinal, only letting one arrow fly wild – into the seven – under strong gusts. And then in the final, against India’s Mohan Ramswaroop Bhardwaj, Mister Perfect dropped just one arrow, his first, out of the middle, to win, 149-141.
“My guessing with the wind here is really different than at home. I worked hard on it, went to the practice range a couple of times,” he said. “I felt like I worked hard on it, worked on my shot process and that’s really showed.”
Schloesser had already confirmed his ticket to the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Tlaxcala later this year with his Antalya stage win last month. He enters that event as a top contender, the back-to-back defending champion and a three-time winner of the circuit.
“I’m feeling good and I'm looking forward to that one already,” he said.
Bhardwaj booked his first individual medal in only his second circuit event – he finished 33rd in Antalya – and said he felt good but that next time, “I will try to win gold.”
Kim Yunhee’s title – the first for a Korean archer at this level of event on home soil – came by way of a defeat of Spanish youngster Andrea Muñoz, 144-140. It was her second gold of the day after a compound women’s team victory this morning.
“I feel amazing. Today is my day,” said Yunhee. “I am really happy that I won the gold medal and that I did it in Korea. I did not expect it to go that well. I was just focused on controlling my mind.”
Gwangju marks the first time in 15 years the international circuit has visited the country. The worlds were also held in Korea in 2009.
“I felt nervous shooting ahead of the Korean crowd but they supported me a lot and I could get a great result,” added Kim.
Muñoz made her circuit debut in Antalya last month – and has been amassing notoriety back in Spain for her steadily improving level.
“I am very happy. I did not expect it,” she said after collecting silver. “I did my job and it went well."
Things did not go so well for Estonia’s Lisell Jaatma.
The Estonian archer had three chances to clinch a gold medal on Saturday, first appearing in the compound women’s team and compound mixed team finals – but losing both. Individually, she then finished fourth after struggling in the wind against Dafne Quintero, who took a three-point win, 141-138, to take bronze at her very first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup.
“It has not been my day today,” said Jaatma, who is now in a very strong position in the circuit rankings. “I felt very tired after the whole week. It is hard to shoot three medal matches in one day but I am still happy. Fourth place is good for me.”
India appeared in four of the five compound finals in Gwangju, winning one gold, two bronzes and a silver, while Korea appeared in three, winning two golds and a bronze.
Competition in Gwangju concludes tomorrow with the recurve medal matches.