Tag Archives: rio2016

42 days to go: archery and Olympics news

24 June, 2016


Pic: DutchTarget.com / World Archery

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.

Source: http://rio2016.olympics.com.au

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!


Kumari joined pic


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.”


Source: YouTube.com



49 days to go: archery and Olympics news

17 June, 2016


There’s been some amazing action in Antalya this week, the final major tournament before Rio.  The main World Cup draw itself didn’t spring too may surprises, but there was a great deal indeed at stake if you had skin in the game in in the final team and individual qualifying tournaments.

The team qualifiers saw many surprises including many strong teams (Germany, Canada, Mexico, Russia, Belarus and the USA women) failing to pick up spots, and a handful of teams finally grabbing what the ranking suggested they deserved.  The final final individual knockout this morning saw more tough breaks and some incredible performances, such as Naomi Folkard of Great Britain battling back from 4-0 down to take the match and a spot. Absolutely boss picture by dutchtarget.com above. The competition continues with the usual Compound Saturday tomorrow and strugglesti… sorry, Recurve Sunday the day after that, when Korea are in every gold medal match. It’s looking ominous. 



In Rio, the Olympic medal design has been launched with some eco-tastic ribbons, and look pretty damn good, if fairly straightforward. I guess after the recent debacles in Japan people are sticking to the knitting, design wise.  The organisers have also finally come up with the most important thing of all: a slogan. The Games tagline is  ‘A New World‘. Does the job, right?

Looking to the future, the United Arab Emirates are rather confident of making a dent in the archery universe at Tokyo 2020. I suppose if they throw enough money at it, who knows what could happen?


I previously reported that the Indian archery team would be staying outside the Olympic Village (as more than one team might be doing).  This plan has apparently now been nixed, apparently due to the threat of Zika virus.


The doping ban on Canadian international Jay Lyon has been upheld and he is suspended for two years. He’s not very happy about it, and gave a detailed interview to the Winnipeg Sun.  He was already unlikely for Rio, but the Canadian teams failed to win any team berths in Antalya this week and will be sending just one man to Rio (Crispin, I presume).

Also, Oscar Ticas of El Salvador has been banned for a year, for an unspecified doping offence.


Lancaster Archery has an interesting feature about Brady Ellison, with some choice quotes as usual:

“The benefits (of being an Olympic athlete) are mostly that of personal accomplishment – not financial or material things, although once I was recognized and got out of a speeding ticket.”


This weeks greatest Olympian: the only one on the list not still with us: Hubert Van Innis, from an Olympic era when nations basically set up as many of whatever tournaments they fancied. Sounded like quite a guy. The great-great-grandfather of Sarah Prieels, too.


The Archery Blogger has an interview with Bryony Pitman, who came within a match or two of an Olympic place in Antalya this morning.


Finally, someone alerted me to this full length (2hr plus) feature about traditional & barebow archery technique called The Push. I haven’t seen all of it, but it seems to be a well produced and well-thought out piece.  You can watch The Push right here.


56 days to go: archery and Olympics news

10 June, 2016

Antalya finals field from drone camera at #AWC2014 Photo: World Archery

Antalya finals field from drone camera at #AWC2014 Photo: World Archery

So, the World Cup stage 3 starts this weekend in the familiar venue of Antalya. It’s always the most popular stage on the tour, being on an upmarket stretch of a Turkish beach resort and with most of the archers in a very nice hotel indeed. Some teams, e.g. India, have been there for a while already. WA preview is here.

This edition apparently now the largest turnout (300+) of recurve archers at a World Cup stage ever, many of them there for the last chance tournament for Rio places on Thursday evening (teams) and Friday morning (individuals). Three team places per gender and at least three individual places per gender are on offer – there may be more depending on what happens in the team rounds.  A staggering 48 men’s teams and 27 women’s teams are going for those spots. (It’s also the final Paralympic qualifier over in the Czech Republic).

Antalya is so busy there are two separate days of qualification, and pretty much every team is out there at full strength in the last major international before the big dance. You can follow along at worldarchery.org from next week, with the usual finals next weekend.


The FISU World University Archery championships wrapped up in Mongolia this weekend, with a strong Korean team taking a lot of what was on offer, and Rio alternate Kang “The Destroyer” Chae Young sweeping three medals including individual gold. I’m sure she’d happily swap the lot for a trip to Brazil, but hey.



Speaking of Rio, I was nosing around the Sambadrome venue in Rio on Google Earth, and found something amazing. As you virtually ‘drive’ into the Sambadrome in sunlight, it changes to nighttime at Carnival. If the archery looks anything like this… well bowled. Look for yourself and start exploring here.
Also, World Archery just shared this pic of the Sambadrome – our Sambadrome – under Olympic construction:




Photo: http://aa.com.tr/

17 year olds Mete Gazoz and Yasemin Ecem Anagoz seem to have been confirmed for Rio after winning their places at the European Championships last month, according to this. They will be the youngest athletes in the Turkish delegation.


Wider Rio news: Thomas Bach faces a parade of difficult decisions about doping as a Refugees Team is confirmed for the Games, with six track athletes , two swimmers, and two judokas. As for Zika, there’s been a few casualties already.  “Zika cases at Olympics will be ‘close to zero“, says the Brazilian sports minister – but then he would, wouldn’t he? Some other high-profile athletes are taking slightly more dramatic measures including freezing their own sperm.  Also, Team Nigeria aren’t helping their athletes with the sexy times.



Choi Misun won a MVP award from a Korean women’s sport organisation. Considering she’s the world number one, and one of Korea’s best chances for individual gold in Rio, that’s kind of an understatement. 🙂


At WA, there’s news of an interesting new app. This week’s best Olympian: and we’ve hit the top five with Yun Mi Jin, who took individual and team gold at Sydney 2000. She hasn’t actually retired yet, either (whoops…:) ) 


From Forces TV, there’s a nugget about treating PTSD with archery.  From the Archery Blogger, there’s an interview with Jesse Broadwater.  And finally, an interesting piece about kyudo in California. All archery requires dedication, but the traditional martial art of Japan, even as taught in the West, requires even more:

“This isn’t about archery,” DeProspero says. “It’s about learning Japanese culture. It’s a tea ceremony with a bow and arrow.”…. A lot of people don’t return; the practice takes a long time. I’m not interested in tourists. You have to have a genuine interest.”




63 days to go: archery and Olympics news

3 June, 2016

GBR mens waiting

GBR men’s team waiting for their gold medal match. Photo: © The Infinite Curve 2016

The European Championships
wrapped up in some style last weekend, in the appropriate surroundings of Old Market Square, Nottingham. I was up there on media duties, and wrote a piece about that here. You can also read about the Olympics continental qualifying tournament here, and who will be going to Rio who isn’t already. Congratulations to Jon Nott and team for putting together such a spectacular, smooth-running event.



Pic by Demir Durak

The Conquest Cup, an invitation-only, cash-prize event in Istanbul as the showpiece of their Okçular Vakfı range (a pet project of the Turkish president, by the way) wrapped up last Sunday, but they’re not big on broadcasting the results.  It looks like ladies recurve was won by Tatiana Biltrikova, with Lin Chia-En second and Karina Winter third. Korea took mixed team. I only know this by literally browsing through unlabelled pictures of the podium. Have a look yourself!


Currently running in Ulanbataar, Mongolia are the FISU World University Championships. Ranking and team rounds were done today with Park Seongcheol and Kang “The Destroyer” Chae Young topping the recurve pile. No TV coverage I can see, but you can check the results on IANSEO here – or info.worldarchery.org just this weekend.


Various nations are starting to announce squads for Rio. First up, the USA:

Brady Ellison
Zach Garrett
Jake Kaminski

Mackenzie Brown
Hye Youn Park
Khatuna Lorig

The USA only have one women’s spot qualified, but Mackenzie Brown takes it for finishing top of the trials. Park and Lorig only get to go if the USA women manage to qualify a full team in Antalya. Hye Youn Park is the relative unknown here. She’s originally from Korea, but emigrated to the USA a few years ago (but not in enough time to try for London, under IOC rules). Full details here.

You may also be interested in a parent’s perspective on Zach Garrett making the team.

Australia announced their men’s team and single women’s place after the final stages of their trials. (Video with Taylor Worth here.)

Alec Potts
Ryan Tyack
Taylor Worth

Alice Ingley

….which was extra tough on Semra Ferguson, who won the women’s place at the Oceania qualifier – and is apparently appealing the decision to send Ingley. Full details here.


Finally, Mexico announced their squad:

Alejandra Valencia
Aida Roman
Gabriela Bayardo

Juan Rene Serrano
Ernesto Boardman
Oldair Zamora

…but just Boardman will be going from the men’s list unless the Mexican men qualify a full team in Antalya. Mariana Avitia, the London bronze medallist, was cut from the trials at an earlier stage. A bigger surprise is Luis Alvarez not making the team, but apparently everyone else was well, better. Full details here (in Spanish).


Crispin Duenas, as we all know, loves to chat. Here he is talking to the National Post of Canada.  Interesting material on his process as an athlete:

“I love the fact that after every new archery movie comes out we get an influx of people wanting to register for lessons, but I always tell people that what you see in the movies isn’t necessarily what we actually do. You can’t do this, you can’t do that, that doesn’t actually happen when you shoot a bow. If they’re lucky enough to be talking to me while I’m holding my bow, I’ll say here, try this. And they’ll pick up my bow and the first thing they’ll say is ‘oh my goodness, that’s really heavy’.”


Over at WA this week is Tom Dielen’s blog post reflecting on 20 years with World Archery, with lots of fascinating detail – well worth a read. It’s quite sobering to think, with the opening of the amazing WA Excellence Centre this year, that at one point international archery was entirely run from an unremarkable flat in Milan. That looked like this:


Also over at WA, this week’s all-time greatest Olympic archer is another Italian, Marco Galiazzo. Three consecutive medals (gold, silver, gold) from three consecutive Games. That’s pretty special – possibly unique?



The Korean team are flaunting their big name kit branding from Head, Elord, and hipster outdoor Korea brand Kolon Sport (who do the shoes).  Glossy promotional video right here – all in Korean, but you’ll get the idea.


Wider Olympics news: five new sports have been approved for inclusion in the Tokyo 2020 games – baseball, softball, karate, sport climbing, skateboarding and surfing. It’s subject to final ratification, but that looks like a formality.  Full details on Inside The Games.  Baseball is huge in Japan, so that’s a no-brainer, and sport climbing looks like it has a lot to offer the lay viewing public.   But skateboarding is easily the most controversial on the list, with the various governing bodies arguing amongst themselves and no-one really sure what an Olympic competition will look like – although there seems to be no doubt that it will be a big TV draw. Some of the Olympic commentariat aren’t impressed.


Finally, from the Irish Examiner, we have five facts that prove archery is the most interesting sport at the Olympics. I absolutely love the quote from Lida Howell from back in 1904:

“Archery is a picturesque game, the range with its smooth green and distant glowing target with its gold and radiating red, blue, black and white, the white-garbed players, with graceful big bows and flying arrows, makes a beautiful picture.”



2015 Aquece Rio Olympic Test Event

22 September, 2015


Bernardo Oliveira

So, the archery test event for Rio 2016 happened at the Sambódromo – although they didn’t test the TV cameras and there wasn’t a shred of footage, much to the disappointment of archery fans around the world. It’s notable how much international standards had increased since the last test event in London in 2011. In that qualification round, in the men’s competition if you shot 650 you placed 34th – in Rio, you’d only be 42nd. In the women’s competition: 650 would have got you 2nd place in London – in Rio only 18th. It’s remarkable how many nations have produced elite level archers in just four years.

There was controversy early on with a scorecard incident involving none other than Olympic champion Oh Jin-Hyek, who apparently forgot to total the second half of his qualification scoresheet during the ranking round. Despite an aghast appeal from the Koreans, he was dropped to last place and also took the men’s team – who must have been at least even money to win here – out of the competition. This was just one of several high profile incidents this year involving scorecard mistakes, including a disaster for the USA men’s team in Copenhagen. It’s not ‘fair’, no, but the rules are not a secret – everyone knows them and everyone knows the consequences. It seems unlikely that a movement to change the scorecard-last rule is going to appear anytime soon, at least before completely foolproof universal electronic scoring appears sometime in the distant future.


via @OttonBaquerizo

None of the big Asian archery nations disappointed. The Korean men may have been gone, but the women’s team – despite apparently finding it difficult to get used to the food – scythed through the field and took gold without losing a single set point. In hot conditions, China were almost as dominant on the men’s side, and Chinese Taipei continued their podium-level runs in all competitions. Choi Misun took individual women’s gold, and world champion Kim Woojin took the men’s title, holding off a spectacular silver medal run from Sjef Van Den Berg, capping an extraordinary season for the Dutchman that saw him nearly destroy an entire field at the European Games. The big shoulders of Marcus D’Almeida may need further reinforcing over the next year after he finished a creditable ninth, there was another strong showing from Mackenzie Brown keeping USA hopes up for next year, and the Canadian men surprised.

Most athletes seemed to praise the sea-of-green setup in Rio, although the temperatures seemed to trouble a few. In under a year, the ‘big dance’ beckons.

All scores and results here. Pics here.  Thanks to Chris Wells and Andrea Vasquez for all the reportage.