So Antalya happened. In blistering heat of 40°C / 104 F, the Korean team made, and won, every gold medal match. No cracks in the team armour at all, although the individual bronze matches saw some action. There was a sterling performance from Brasil, making the men’s team finals and shooting well but overcome by a seriously impressive USA men’s team. Tan Ya Ting of Chinese Taipei turned heads by beating both Ki Bo Bae and Chang Hye Jin on her way to individual bronze. Choi Misun continued her dominant run and has to be individual favourite in the Sambadrome in six weeks time. The compound finals… weren’t that thrilling, really. Sorry. Well done to the Turkish compound talent finally, deservedly breaking into the medals though.
For a lot of squads, the tournament was almost a sideshow compared to the final Rio qualifier, and it’s hard to take conclusions for the summer that haven’t already been drawn. Germany had a disastrous meet, failing to upgrade individual places to the full team spots their ranking easily suggested should be theirs. Today, they announced they will send Lisa Unruh and Florian Floto to Rio.
As Antalya was the last World Cup of the year – there are only three stages in Olympic years – the line-up for the World Cup final has been finalised. There’s plenty of new entrants as well as familiar faces: Brady Ellison will be back for a record seventh consecutive final.
RIO NEWS. It’s really not been the best week for Rio 2016, with athletes getting robbed and ticket sales still sluggish. Some big name golfers have pulled out citing the Zika virus, although reading around there is a sneaking suspicion that it’s just not that high up the priority list. I personally think golf has no place in the Olympics, TV draw or not. It’s a long way from being the pinnacle of the sport, and that’s what it should be. Hopefully next month will be like London 2012 at the same stage, when the doom-and-gloom fades and the excitement starts building.
It’s looking like Russia’s track and field athletes won’t be in Brazil in August, but there’s even a possibility the entire Russian delegation might get canned. That would affect the archery profoundly; the Russian women’s team would be expected to make the last eight, and their absence would strengthen several other team challenges. Watch this space.
Gratuitous Ki Bo Bae news: she’s been named on some list as one of the ’50 star athletes’ of Rio. Whee.
For something a bit lighter on Rio but still very interesting, you could watch this video by photographer David Harvey.
GBR have named their Paralympic archery squad for Rio, and given the way everyone seems to be shooting at the moment, I see medals coming home in September. There’s some awesome athletes and some awesome stories too. In other TeamGB news: the hockey team manager’s odd past has caught up with him.
Patrick Huston has started a series of videos about training and shooting internationally; here’s the first one on how to make a ‘Formaster’ type device, featuring twice-Olympic medallist Richard Priestman. Whoo!
Indian archers are never far from their own country’s sports pages, which are noticeable for their flowery, melodramatic language. They are also notable for a cavalier attitude towards copyright issues. This report on Antalya uses one of my photographs – I took it at the finals of the World Cup in Wroclaw last year. Apart from making the quality hideous and stripping off the watermark, they’ve also apparently assigned the copyright to someone else! FB? Facebook? Yeah, cheers guys…
Tokyo 2020 are very pleased with their new Olympic emblem. Watch their video about it here.
Over on WA, there’s a veh interesting piece from Ludivine about the growth of archery in France. On the list of World’s Greatest Olympic Archers, we are down to number three, and serious greatest-of-all-time territory. The incredible Park Sung Hyun. It felt like a privilege to write it. I’ll leave you with a translated quote I couldn’t fit in, from fellow team member and Korean legend Yun Mi Jin. The question was: Who do you admire most?
“Though we only have 1 year apart, I would pick Park Sung Hyun, the player with two consecutive wins at Athens Olympic Games. Now she is a mom of 3 children and a supervisor in Korea’s work team. I was happy to run for various national tournaments next to such a compatible companion with many things to learn from, and I truly enjoyed all the memories and good scoring she presented to me. Not only me, but many people are particularly fond of her. She is the only player in the world to exceed 1400 points in a single round, and her personality is as amazing as her skills.”