Five archers who impressed at the second stage of the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup
The was the first time the circuit had visited Korea since 2007. Everyone on the line had one goal: to book a spot at the 2022 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Mexico and a share of the circuit’s biggest-ever prize fund.
The event marked the first appearances on the circuit this year for teams from Brazil, Mexico and Korea, among others, and what a return it was for the host nation. Six golds, out of a possible 10 on offer, along with two silvers and a bronze meant the Asian nation finished top of the medal table.
Here are the five archers who we think impressed most in Gwangju.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know on our social channels using the hashtag #ArcheryWorldCup.
1. Kim Woojin
But with his new world ranking points in Gwangju – thanks to taking the individual title as well as booking Korea’s first recurve men’s team win of the year – Kim knocked Brady Ellison off the top of the ranking list for the first time in three years and restored himself to the top of the pile (albeit jointly with Mete Gazoz).
“I’ve won several medals, but this is really special to me because it’s on home ground,” said Woojin. “It’s been a long time since we’ve been in Korea. Now that I’ve won the stage and am through to the World Cup Final I hope that I can do well. It’s going to be a great competition.”
Woojin has already won the international circuit three times – in 2012, 2017 and 2018.
2. Andrea Muñoz
When you rise over 100 places in the world rankings and beat a Korean archer in Korea something is going right for you.
For Spanish compound woman Andrea Muñoz, a lot is going right this season.
After her debut Hyundai Archery World Cup stage in Antalya last month, where she finished 17th after losing to eventual gold medallist Ella Gibson, she followed it up last week at stage two in Gwangju by claiming a silver medal after seeing off five archers – all of whom ranked above her.
A seeding of 37th saw her on a path where she took down Julia Boehnke (143-141), Oh Yoohyun (145-144), Elisa Roner (146-143) and former world number one and 2021 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final bronze medallist Tanja Gellenthien (145-144). That put her into a semifinal against the in-form – and on-this list – Lisell Jaatma.
A surprisingly low-scoring match (in challenging conditions) ended with a 143-139 victory for Muñoz, but the final against Kim Yunhee proved a test too far, with a 144-140 loss against the impressive Korean.
“I still don’t believe it,” said Muñoz after reaching the final. “I have shot very well so I am very happy with the work."
“I don’t know why,” when asked why the level of her performances this year has risen so much. She’s also set numerous records in Spain. “I have been training all year round and it’s true that my level has improved. I’ve been working with my mental process which, more than anything else, has made me improve. I am very proud of where I’ve come. I am very excited.”
While the ascendant Estonian archer may have lost to the number two in this list in Gwangju, Lisell Jaatma has that magical quality which all archers are looking for – consistency. She also has medals, too.
In just two stages so far this season, she has collected four medals. In Antalya, it was individual bronze and compound women’s team bronze, while last week in Korea she won silver in both the compound women’s and mixed team events. She also finished fourth in the individual, too.
The ability to keep that level of consistency up, across continents and time zones against the best archers in the world, puts Jaatma in our top five.
She is also now ranked in the world’s top-10 for the first-time ever, moving up nine spots to ninth after Gwangju.
Another consistent performer in the circuit so far this year is Miguel Alvarino Garcia.
While we all rush to buy Spanish mineral water and find the secret to the team’s success, Alvarino keeps up his impressive individual performances, seven years after he won the Archery World Cup Final in Mexico City.
No stranger to World Cup team medals, 2022 saw Alvarino win his first-ever individual Hyundai Archery World Cup stage gold last month in Antalya – booking his ticket back to the big dance, the very year it returns to Latin America.
He then followed it up with recurve men’s bronze in Gwangju, seeing off Tokyo 2020 team gold medallist Kim Je Deok in the quarterfinals, 6-4, and then beating Rick van der Ven in the third-place match. With the Spanish men’s team in Gwangju, he added another bronze to his collection – his third circuit medal in 2022 and nearly half of his total career haul of eight.
He is also sitting in his highest-ever world ranking spot of fourth.
For Reigning circuit champion Mister Perfect – should we list his achievements or just check whether he’s a robot sent from the future?
He seeded top in Gwangju, qualifying with 710 for his fifth consecutive number one seed on the circuit – after Antalya earlier this year (711), and Paris (715), Lausanne (716) and Guatemala City (717) in 2021.
Mike’s position in this list could have gone to other archers – like Germany’s Katharina Bauer who again medalled and is sitting in her highest-ever world ranking, or maybe even Steve Marsh, the archery shop owner on his circuit debut, who won bronze after being dispatched by Schloesser in the semifinals, or even Mohan Ramswaroop Bhardwaj, who finished second to Schloesser.
But ultimately, until this run ends, it’s difficult to overlook him. The best word on if Schloesser is beatable comes from Bhardwaj himself, who saw the Dutchman start with a 29 in the final and then hit four consecutive perfect 30s.
“I know he is the number one in the world,” said the Indian who won his first-ever circuit medal. “But let me try.”
We will all be watching.