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.
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.