World Cup Shanghai – teams / finals pics

3 May, 2016

For pics of Great Britain’s recurve men at #WCShanghai, click here.

AWCShanghai-0821

 

AWCShanghai-0547

mixed team semi

AWCShanghai-0690

Tan Ya Ting, Laxmirani Mahji

AWCShanghai-0697

Deepika Kumari

AWCShanghai-0712

Wen Chen Hung

AWCShanghai-0718

Zach Garrett

AWCShanghai-0749

the view out of my hotel room window, 6.30am

AWCShanghai-0756

Rick Van Der Ven

AWCShanghai-0885

this thing

AWCShanghai-0924

no idea, sorry

AWCShanghai-0952

KOR-GBR

AWCShanghai-0528

Maja Jager

AWCShanghai-0800

Elena Richter

 

FINALS

AWCShanghai-0186

KOR ladies

AWCShanghai-0199

India ladies, warm-up field

AWCShanghai-0301

Dutch arrows

AWCShanghai-0302

KOR arrows

AWCShanghai-0350

Brady, mixed team final

AWCShanghai-0394

Brady & Khatuna, mixed team final

AWCShanghai-0366

Tan Ya Ting

AWCShanghai-0420

Sjef Van Den Berg

AWCShanghai-0444-2

Sjef / Zach

bows bows bows

2 May, 2016

AWCShanghai-0772

Denmark ladies’ bows

If you’ve been reading my blog on a vaguely regular basis you’ll know that I focus more on the sport side of things than the equipment side, partly because I feel that’s well covered elsewhere.

But someone asked nicely, so on Friday morning (team day) I decided to scribble down what every recurve team in this World Cup was using.

I didn’t have time to note individual models, or who was slinging what. Sorry. Had work to do. If it’s Hoyt, it’s very likely a GMX series riser and almost certainly Quattro limbs. If it’s Win & Win, limbs wise it’s increasingly Wiawis but quite likely Inno Ex Power. Win & Win risers were well mixed amongst their older and newer, carbon & aluminium offerings.

This is apropos of nothing, and you can take from it whatever you like.

IMPORTANT:

1) I think I got most of it right but it was done quickly and there’s a likely possibility of some errors. This is for information only, and is not to be relied upon in any way.
2) These are the bows of the three-member teams participating in the team rounds.
3) Don’t forget a large number of archers and teams at this level are sponsored in one way or another, which might in turn affect the ‘result’ in one way or another.
4) Most importantly: this is an observation of what was on the line at the Shanghai World Cup in 2016, not a peer-reviewed study of trends in the archery industry. It may not mean very much at all!

If you haven’t noticed already, this blog is sponsored by Win & Win, specifically their WIAWIS product line. So if you’re looking at this ‘data’ and thinking about which recurve bow to buy, obviously you should buy WIAWIS. Because they’re the best. :)

Scroll to the bottom for totals.

Format is: riser / limbs

MEN’S TEAMS

Japan

W&W / W&W
W&W / W&W
Hoyt / W&W

Spain

W&W / W&W
Hoyt / Hoyt
W&W / W&W

Nederlands

Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt

Russia

Hoyt / Hoyt
MK Korea / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt

USA

Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt

Canada

Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
W&W / W&W

GBR

Hoyt / Hoyt
W&W / W&W
W&W / W&W

Australia

Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / W&W
W&W / W&W

Korea

Hoyt / MK Korea
W&W / W&W (RXT)
W&W / W&W (RXT)

China

Hoyt / W&W
W&W / W&W
Hoyt / MK Korea

Mexico
Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt

Chinese Taipei
MK Korea / MK Korea
W&W / W&W
Hoyt / MK Korea

India
MK Korea / W&W
Hoyt / Hoyt
W&W / W&W

Denmark

MK Korea / W&W
Hoyt / MK Korea
MK Korea / MK Korea

France

Hoyt / Hoyt
W&W / W&W
Hoyt / Hoyt

Indonesia

Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt

Germany

MK Korea / W&W
Hoyt / MK Korea
MK Korea / MK Korea

 

 

 

WOMEN’S TEAMS

Germany

Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt

Japan

W&W / W&W
W&W / W&W
W&W / W&W

Indonesia

W&W / W&W
Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt

China

W&W / W&W
W&W / W&W
W&W / W&W

Denmark

Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / MK Korea

Turkey

Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / MK Korea

USA

Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
W&W / W&W

India

W&W / W&W
W&W / W&W
MK Korea / MK Korea

Russia

Hoyt / Hoyt
MK Korea / W&W
MK Korea / W&W

Colombia

Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
(all the same colour!)

Spain

Fivics / Fivics
W&W / W&W
Hoyt / Hoyt

GBR

Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
W&W / W&W

Georgia

Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt
Hoyt / Hoyt

Korea

W&W / W&W
W&W / W&W
Hoyt / W&W

TOTAL using Hoyt risers: 54
TOTAL using Hoyt limbs: 44

TOTAL using Win & Win risers: 28
TOTAL using Win & Win limbs: 37

TOTAL using MK Korea risers: 10
TOTAL using MK Korea limbs: 11

TOTAL using Fivics limbs: 1
TOTAL using Fivics risers: 1

________________

World Cup Shanghai – GBR men

1 May, 2016

It wasn’t quite to be, but the journey was something special. The last time the GBR men’s team made a World Cup final was that glorious moment at Antalya 2012 when the men’s team beat India for gold. This week, the team of Patrick Huston, Kieran Slater and Larry Godfrey got past the Australians and the USA before being stopped – just – by the Korean boys, helped along by the noisiest support on the field.  With this trip still regarded as a ‘training week’, flights had been booked home on Saturday, and had to be hastily rearranged for Richard Priestman and the team.

Without the travelling support, in the end they ran into an Indian wall of tens. Despite rallying in the third set, and Larry finding the middle consistently, they couldn’t quite get any points on the board, but even so, the result is telling. Richard Priestman, the head coach had this to say:

“We were really up for it. I think there’s a belief coming back into the team. We’ve worked really hard this winter, a lot of positive talk, and we’ve had great support this morning from the rest of the team. We’ve created the atmosphere where we believe we can win, and it’s paying off. It was a real shame to lose to Korea by just a point, but we know we can beat big teams.”

All pics are © The Infinite Curve. You can share them with a credit, but you’re not allowed to edit them in any way. Thanks!

AWCShanghai-0280

Patrick Huston

AWCShanghai-0279

Kieran Slater

AWCShanghai-0278

on stage

AWCShanghai-0267

Larry

AWCShanghai-0162

Patrick on the final field practice range

AWCShanghai-0182

Team on the final field practice range

 

AWCShanghai-0871

supporting

AWCShanghai-0984

You don’t win anything with ki… oh, you do

 

 

AWCShanghai-0791

Pic of the GBR ladies too, what the hell

World Cup Shanghai – Days 1&2

27 April, 2016

Some photos from the first couple of days. There was a lot of tension in the air, and I went looking for ‘portraits’, mostly. Little vignettes. Enjoy.

AWCShanghai-0539

Deepika Kumari.

AWCShanghai-0069

Song Jiyung

AWCShanghai-0125-2

Alejandra Valencia

AWCShanghai-0219

Muto Hiroki

AWCShanghai-0279

Lee Seongjun

AWCShanghai-0292

Christian Weiss

AWCShanghai-0309

So Chun Ngai

AWCShanghai-0316

Daniel Areneo

AWCShanghai-0377

Zach Garrett

AWCShanghai-0379

Brady Ellison

AWCShanghai-0406

Aida Roman

AWCShanghai-0421

Karla Hinojosa

 

AWCShanghai-0426

Yuki Hayashi

AWCShanghai-0430

Still Life #1

AWCShanghai-0435

Still Life #2

AWCShanghai-0442

Lin Shih Chia

AWCShanghai-0493

Kim Chaeyun

kumari

Deepika Kumari

 

AWCShanghai-0500

arrahs

AWCShanghai-0126

WA on the town

World Cup Shanghai 2016 – preview

23 April, 2016

13015529_1711643462426702_4264956281444756859_n

Yuanshen Stadium, Shanghai. Photo: Sun Alex

The World Cup season is upon us, and it’s very short indeed in this Olympic year.  There are three events rather than four:  Shanghai starts next week on the 26th April, after that many of the archers will be flying directly to Medellin which begins on the 9th May, with South American qualification places for Rio up for grabs. The last stage before Rio in Antalya on the 12th June will be particularly full of drama as the last Olympic qualifying tournament, with 24 team and individual places available for the big dance. Finally, there will be the showcase grand final in Odense, Denmark in September.

It will be interesting to see who is on form in Shanghai, the familiar opener to the season and the firmest fixture in the World Cup calendar. The qualifying is still at the Yuanshen Stadium, but this year, for the first time, the finals will not be held on the familiar waterfront by the Huangpu river. The finals field is now on the nearby Lujiazui Green, with some spectacular fountains and the archers shooting over water (reminiscent of the old Copenhagen World Cup venue). Shanghai has the biggest crowds of any of the World Cup events, and was a sellout last year. This should be a great edition.

 

sfsdfsdf sdf

 

Most teams seem to be sending full-strength first teams, with one noticeable absence  – Korea.
They are sending their top recurve cadets, all aged 17-20, for some international experience in Shanghai – although all their senior compounders will be in action. Ukraine also appear to be absent, and the Brazilian first team too – they are deep into internal selection tournaments.  The Italian recurves are currently training in South America, last I heard.

I’m getting on a plane tomorrow and going to Shanghai once again to work for World Archery on the comms team, so you can find me over here. Will also be updating you with pictures here. Stay tuned!  John.

 

 

Tokyo 2020 logos: still some work to do?

14 April, 2016

Original logo designer Kenjiro Sano. Pic via Inside The Games.

Last year a furore erupted over the logo design for the Tokyo 2020 games, which was eventually withdrawn over claims that it had been plagiarised. I retain a sneaking suspicion that it was withdrawn not because it infringed the copyright of an obscure Belgian theatre company, but because it was really, really awful.  I wrote a longish, ranty blog post about exactly why so in July last year.

Certainly the glare of public opinion was not kind, but the London 2012 logo received similar levels of stick, and they stuck that one out. Given the loss of face involved – a huge deal in Japan – the decision to yank it must have been agonising.

Since that debacle, the organising committee held an open public competition to design a new pair of logos for the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Anyone resident in Japan could enter, and nearly 15,000 people did. The four finalists, all currently anonymous, are below.

The reaction from Japan’s design community to the finalist designs has been spectacularly sniffy and condescending:

“Public submission seems more fair than a designer or agency picked by an elite, but the overall result will probably lack quality,” said Benjamin Thomas of Tokyo-based Bento Graphics, who said the logos on the shortlist fail to “immediately visually explain their concept”.

Another Tokyo-based designer, Ian Lynam of Ian Lynam Design, said the logos were “unprofessional in terms of structure, form and execution” and were more akin to “cartoons or caricatures”.

Designer Keiko Hirano said: “We must not fail to recognise that once again, the renewed competition will not be a reflection of the consensus of the Japanese people.”

Art director and the chairman of Japan Graphic Designers Association, Katsumi Asaba, told Sports Hochi said he preferred Sano’s effort as the new contenders were of a “really low level of design”.

This, of course, came hot on the heels of another, even bigger design row over the main Olympic stadium involving the late architect Zaha Hadid. After that, the organising committee made it very clear that they expected ‘Japanese-ness’ to be a big part of any design elements that were facing the public.

So here they are. What do you think? Personally I think that one is a lot stronger than the others. There’s a poll at the bottom. Choose one and let me know. Add a comment, why dontcha? And you can stick your oar in directly to the organisers here.

UPDATE: April 25th – the results are in:  http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/04/25/national/checkered-pattern-chosen-as-official-logo-for-2020-tokyo-olympic-games/

 

Print

A. Harmonized chequered emblem

Chequered patterns have been popular in many countries around the world throughout history. In Japan, the chequered pattern became formally known as “ichimatsu moyo” in the Edo period (1603-1867), and this chequered design in the traditional Japanese colour of indigo blue expresses a refined elegance and sophistication that exemplifies Japan.

Composed of three varieties of rectangular shapes, the design represents different countries, cultures and ways of thinking. It incorporates the message of “unity in diversity”. It also expresses that the Olympic and Paralympic Games seek to promote diversity as a platform to connect the world.

160323_決定案_修正

B. Connecting Circle, Expanding Harmony

“This design expresses the connection between the dynamism of the athletes and the joy of the spectators, and the expansion of peace and harmony throughout the world.
It seeks to encompass mental and physical strength, dynamic movement and speed, and the euphoric emotions that the world derives from outstanding athletic performances.
The design also expresses the respect and warm hospitality that will be accorded to visitors from around the world to the Tokyo 2020 Games.”

tko20_032216

C. Surpassing One’s Personal Best

“These emblems were inspired by the traditional Wind God and the Thunder God, and seek to convey dynamic movement at the instant an athlete breaks the tape on the finish line. They also represent athletes as they endeavour to attain and surpass their personal best.
The Wind God and the Thunder God have been much loved by the people of Japan for centuries. (e.g. the famous painting by the early 17th century Japanese artist Tawaraya Sotatsu, and the statues of these Gods at the Kaminari-mon Gate in Tokyo’s Asakusa district)
In the original depiction, the taiko drums held by the Thunder God are represented by fireworks, while the Wind Cloth held by the Wind God is replaced by the portrayal of a rainbow to symbolise the concepts of peace, diversity and harmony.
The emblems also express the athletes’ continued contribution to peace through their mental and physical tenacity, and a connection to the future.”

Print

D. Flowering of Emotions

“The morning glory flower as it faces up towards the heavens to greet the new morning, expresses the faces of athletes striving to attain a personal best and the bright faces of people as they applaud the athletes. The upward-looking morning glory also represents the climax of this range of emotions.
The seed of the morning glory sprouts, the vine grows, and the flower opens,—the process of the flower growing and eventually returning to seed conveys the sense of expectation for the Games and succession to the next generation.
This flower was particularly popular during Japan’s Edo period (1603-1867), and remains a firm favourite (e.g. as subject for “Ukiyoe” prints.)
It signifies a heightened sense of anticipation towards the 2020 Games and the warm welcome that visitors from around the world will receive.”

 

Quotes and pic via Inside The Games. Thanks.

Woojin: the year of the monkey

13 April, 2016

Awesome English-language post and quotes from Kim Woojin last month. Original article is here: http://koreajoongangdaily.joins.com/news/article/article.aspx?aid=3015462

DSC_0018

Kim Woojin (in glasses) at Shanghai 2015. Photo: The Infinite Curve

Kim Woo-jin knows that getting a spot on the Korean national archery team can be more difficult than winning international events.

And like most athletes this year, the 23-year-old archer is aiming for the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Though there are two trials left for Korean archers to qualify for the national team, Kim is regarded as the frontrunner for a spot.

After clinching silver medals in the men’s singles at the World Cup event last year, Kim went on to win gold in the World Archery Championships in July, both single and team. It was his second world title after 2011.

Having the momentum, he claimed the Aquece Rio International Archery Challenge, which doubled as a Rio 2016 Olympic test event, in September 2015. As a result, Kim became No.1 in world rankings in men’s recurve, edging his teammate Lee Seung-yun.

Kim, who is with the Cheongju City Hall archery team, said that he has a good feeling about his performance this year. The two-time Worlds champion is born in the year of monkey under the Chinese Zodiac, which happens to be the same as this year.

“I’m kind of thrilled since the Olympics is in the year of the monkey,” he said. “I have a feeling that things may go well. Going to the Olympics is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

The Rio Games will be his first Olympics. Kim first represented Korea when he was a senior at Chungbuk Physical Education High School in North Chungcheong. In 2010, he won two gold medals – men’s single and team – at the Asian Games in Guangzhou, China to signal his start.

In 2011, Kim also won two gold medals at World Cup events and everyone thought his spot at the London Summer Games in 2012 was secure.

“Back then, my shots hit the target in every event,” he said. “Many people thought my spot at the Olympics was guaranteed.”

But his early success didn’t help him. Kim admitted that people’s praise of his results made him lose focus and get lazy. His performance started to slip and he eventually finished fourth in qualification for the London Olympics, losing his spot on the national team.

“I was utterly shocked. I felt as if I fell straight to the bottom,” he said. “The failure continued to haunt me.”

It was a slump, according to Kim. At one point, Kim started to think it might end his career.

“Anxiety continued to distress me as I constantly missed the target. As a result, my records started to fall,” he said. “I changed my equipment, but it didn’t help.”

But he didn’t give up. Although he had to leave the Taereung National Training Center, he continued with his training at his club’s practice center.

“I had to increase the amount of my practice,” he said. “I used to shoot 400 to 500 arrows a day at Taereung. Once I was kicked out of there, I began shooting 600 to 700 shots daily. I often got blisters on my hands.”

Kim said his senior teammates helped him to recover. His role model Park Kyung-mo, the 2008 Beijing Olympic gold medalist archer and now coach for the Gongju City Hall archery team, also advised Kim to start anew.

Kim’s hard work began to bear fruit. In 2012 and 2013, Kim only competed in domestic tournaments to improve his condition. In 2014, he returned to competition on the international stage. In 2015, he successfully reclaimed his spot in the national team.

The four years since his failure to qualify for the London Games made Kim prudent and cautious. This was evident as he discussed the Rio Games.

“The reason behind my silence regarding the Olympics is because of my past experience in 2012. I have become more defensive since then,” he said. “I guess I was always a serious person though.”

But Kim said he won’t repeat the same mistake.

His goal to get to the Olympics is set for this year. But Kim wants to stay patient.

“I don’t think failing to enter the national team four years ago was entirely bad for me,” he said. “It was actually a good experience for me in preparing for the upcoming summer games.”

Though he was reluctant to talk about his goal at the Olympics, Kim finally admitted, not surprisingly, that he was aiming for the gold medal.

“To tell the truth, I imagine winning the gold medal at Rio before I go to sleep every night,” he said. “Some say image training helps one’s dream to become reality one day. If I’m qualified for the Olympics, I want to be remembered by the fans and the only way for me to achieve that is by grabbing gold.”

BY PI JOO-YOUNG [choi.hyungjo@joongang.co.kr]

Mauro Nespoli on the Olympics

A great extended interview with Mauro Nespoli of the Italian team, in two parts. It brings up an issue I wasn’t previously aware of: at least some of the competition in Rio will be under artificial light, sunset being around 5.30pm in August. Naturally he and the rest of the Italian squad are training accordingly.

If there’s an Italian archer out there who can translate, I think the English-speaking archery world would be your friend.  But if you don’t speak Italian, Google Chrome auto-translate is your friend. Or the Google Translate add-on for Firefox. Or whatever they do on Safari. Oh, you’re still using Internet Explorer? Just get out.

Read it here:

https://azzurridigloria.com/2016/04/10/mauro-nespoli-le-emozioni-di-pechino-e-la-finale-al-cardiopalma-di-londra-vi-racconto-le-mie-olimpiadi/

https://azzurridigloria.com/2016/04/11/intervista-mauro-nespoli-olimpiadi-rio-2016/

“…we are at the Sambodromo, which is closed on both sides and you will not see big wind. But the unfavorable conditions are given by the early darkness; we are not used to competing under artificial light , and we’ve found a number of problems in this sense. The artificial lights create a series of problems and references to the viewfinder while shooting, this has bothered me a lot in that race, and then I carried on through the winter training with artificial light or in the dark in order to understand how they change the feelings, grasp the nuances and not get caught unprepared, understanding if the perceived through sight is real or a dangerous game of shadows… “

preview

 

 

Steve “Big Cat” Anderson on Why Archery is the Greatest Sport in the World

7 April, 2016

WCWroclaw2015-0025

Steve “Big Cat” Anderson. Photo: The Infinite Curve

A repost today of a recent piece from USA Archery starring Steve Anderson, stand-up guy. Enjoy.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado – Steve Anderson (Salt Lake City, Utah) is one of the United States’ top male compound shooters. USA Archery spoke with Steve to learn about his experience as an archer, and how the fair play and friendships shared in the sport make archery so unique.

Anderson grew up in Boise, Idaho: “I originally started shooting archery when I was about 13 years old. I bow hunted with my uncles.” Anderson took a break from archery in high school when he shifted his focus to basketball. After shooting hoops through college, he returned to the target, this time for score: “I enjoy competing, so it wasn’t long before I started shooting competitively.”

Anderson quickly turned a competitive hobby into a career as a professional archer. In addition to being a member of the United States Archery Team, he is also a Hoyt Pro Staff shooter and an employee at Easton Technical Products.

Many people know Anderson as the Man of the People. He states, “I believe there are two reasons. One is because I work directly with the people in archery. Archery is a small sport, and it’s one where anybody can reach out to a top archer and get advice or tips from them. It sometimes takes me a few days (weeks, months), but I try to answer every question that I get. The sport has given a lot to me, so I try to give back where I can.”

“The other reason,” he added, on why he is known as the Man of the People, “is because I’m just some regular guy who decided to play this game and found a way to do well in it after struggling, not unlike many people who shoot today.” Anderson commented that anybody can be good at archery if they work hard enough: “I truly believe that most anyone can work their way into competitive form.”

Competitions often feature archers of varying experience levels and backgrounds. During a tournament, there is a lot of downtime between ends and while walking to and from the target, for archers to talk and relate to one another. Archers tend to help each other out, both on and off the field. “People enjoy fair play and are fairly good natured, in general. If we are capable, we lend a hand where we can. Matt Stutzman has lent his hands so many times that he never got them back,” joked Anderson about the Armless Archer.

“In archery, unlike other sports, our only opponent is the scoreboard,” commented Anderson. “There is no reason to be intimidated by an opponent.” Anderson mentions the atmosphere in archery, both in practice and in competition, enables people to make lifelong friendships and relationships. This uniqueness of our sport allows people from across the globe to find each other. “There are people who I compete against who I consider to be brothers of mine. But, it’s still ok to want to step up to the shooting line and figuratively destroy the scoreboard, figuratively leaving your friends and competitors in the dust.”

Not only has Anderson made lifelong friends through archery, he also met his wife, Mexico’s top compound archer Linda Ochoa-Anderson. Anderson’s favourite thing about his career in archery so far: “The fact that I met my wife in archery, and seeing the world with a bow in hand. I met my wife in Colombia at the World Games, and we have now competed together and traveled to about every corner of the globe sans Australia.”

“To be honest,” Anderson continued, “I expected to see Europe and the rest of the world playing in some low-level professional basketball league. Instead, I’m doing it with a bow in hand and arrows in the quiver all while wearing the Red, White and Blue on my back and competing for the greatest country on earth! To end this with a question of my own, I say, ‘How cool is that?!’”

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Steve, holding something unusual. Linda looks on. 

Kang Chae Young: what it takes

5 April, 2016

Hong Ji-soo

Pic by Hong Ji-soo

Today is the 120th anniversary of the modern Olympic Games, which you can read about here.  It’s also a day when the Korea Archery Association has further whittled down their squad towards the exulted threes who will go to – almost certainly – take some gold medals back to Seoul from this year’s ‘big dance’ in Rio.

Regular readers will know of my particular fascination with Korean Olympic archery. Someone in Archery GB – the UK governing body – once said to me words to the effect of “you should be concentrating your blog on archery at home”. To which I replied “You don’t have a pop at Match Of The Day for mostly focussing on the Premier League, do you?”. I didn’t actually say that. I thought of it two minutes later. Of course.

The dedication required to be a world-class Olympian in any sport is immense. The dedication to being a world-class Olympic archer is off the actual chart. The genetic lottery is less important – not everybody can be Usain Bolt – but the mental discipline required simply staggers me. I don’t have it. I don’t have anything like it.  I think that’s one of the reasons I’m so fascinated by elite archery.

So it’s not often you get a glimpse into what it really takes at the highest level, which I why I’m grateful for this English language interview with last year’s rookie Kang “The Destroyer” Chae Young from late last year.  This is taken from Kyung Hee University’s news blog, her current school (and also the alma mater of Yun Mi Jin).  It’s worth your time.

There are a lot of people who have dreams but do not put much effort into achievement. However, there is nothing we can accomplish without hard work. We cannot get anything for free. Kang Chae Young, a freshman in the Dept. of Sports Medicine, KHU, is an archer and member of the 2015 Korean national team. She has set a goal and always tried to achieve it from a young age. She won 15 medals in the first half of 2015.

Q: You are famous for acquiring a lot of medals in one year. How do you feel about being a super rookie?

SAMSUNG CSC

I did not realize that I won a lot of them. However, I am very pleased with the medals. They are rewards for my efforts. I got good scores because I did not stop participating in competitions from April to August including the first World Cup of the World Archery Federation held in Shanghai, China and the 2015 Gwangju Summer Universiade. The most memorable game was the first World Cup Recurve where I won three gold medals in women’s individual, team and mixed game. At that moment, I was very happy. However, I still have a lot of improvements to make. My ability must advance enough to do well in further competitions. A few days ago, in the National Championships, I earned a gold medal and two silver medals. There, I had to receive two silver medals instead of gold medals because I missed only a single point. I decided to overcome my shortcomings with continued efforts. I have to try harder than I did in the past.

Q: How much time and efforts do you invest in archery?

It is important for all archers to shoot arrows every day. Whenever games are coming up, I do extra practice at night and on weekends. Usually, we get break time on Saturday nights and Sundays. But to be a more outstanding player than anyone, I try to do extra. I keep concentrating on hitting the target while thinking that I will shoot more precisely than any other archers. My left hand has held a bow for long hours at a time so it is callused. Also, my shoulders easily get hurt after a lot of harsh training. These made me difficult to focus on archery and I easily get worried about future competitions. However, even in the situation when the weather was bad, I have done regular practice for six hours enduring pains in my shoulders.

Q: What motivates you to train this hard?

Setting and reaching goals motivate me to strive harder. Although I get exhausted from training hard, I never give up. I have to bear this to become a much better athlete. Harsh training is essential. Actually, I like to achieve a goal after setting it. I can feel a sense of accomplishment after doing it. For example, I am better at aiming at targets when I am in games than in practice because I have a goal to be awarded more medals.

At the same time, Kang is like any other young, bright girl in her twenties. She mentioned that she is on a diet while revealing how she enjoys eating delicious food. The interview was progressed until almost 8 p.m. which was the difficult time to grab something to eat. She expected this to happen and had prepared some bread and a cup of ice tea. It seems that she is also very considerate of others.

Q: Then, what is your dream?

SAMSUNG CSC

In the short run, I want to be selected as an archer for the Korean national team for 2016 and attend Brazil Olympics held in the summer. My dream is to earn gold medals both in individual and team games like Ki Bo-bae, a remarkable archer. After a few years, I have the desire to be a great medalist and have a place in the history of Korea with a grand slam title. The reason I do not have an exact role model of an athlete is that I want to surpass all of them. In the long run, I will be a member of the Korean national team for 10 years from now. To achieve it, first, I will try to estimate myself better during the competitions. I usually have practiced the archery with low self-esteem. I have kept thinking of myself as poor and lacking necessary capabilities. I have never bragged about myself. However, I now notice that if I continue to do so, I would become more nervous in games and cannot show my real abilities. From now on, I will concentrate on upcoming games with the confidence and the responsibility as a representative of Korea.

Q: You may have given up on normal life, such as being a university student, to become an archer. What do you miss most?

I miss going on dates or hanging out with friends the most. Since my daily life is occupied with shooting arrows, it is difficult for me to enjoy their company. I also miss my school life as a freshman. I want to have blind dates or go on orientation trips with friends. Last semester, I applied for a yachting class but I could not attend it. I wish I could take that course again. I do not feel bad that I can only attend classes once or twice each semester. I love training and staying here in the Korean National Training Center in Taereung. I can overcome the circumstances because such experience is vital for me to accomplish my dream.

Q: Could you advise those who do not have a goal at all or put little effort toward a goal?

When people are living without a goal, life is meaningless. I hope they can find what they want no matter how long it takes. They will regret it later when they look back at their past full of meaninglessness. When setting a goal, I hope they can choose not only what they like but also what they are interested in. For those who pour fewer efforts into obtaining goals, planning even smaller things would be helpful.

Kang emphasizes, “Life is a competition. It is essential for us to make continual efforts to move our dreams forward.” In these words, the UL felt her passion and strong will to overcome further hardships and to make her dream come true.

Original interview by By Kim Eun-chong