The hardest archery tournament in the world. The Korea Archery Association have finished their yearly recurve selection tournament in Donghae City, a brutal week involving six 70m rounds and three days of head to head shooting – and apparently in miserably cold and rainy conditions, too. The top eight, in order, in each gender are:
1. Kim Woojin (2011 world champion), who absolutely dominated the men’s division.
2. Lee Woo Seok (2014 Youth Olympics champion)
3. Shin Jae Hun (promising Korean cadet in 2008, fallen off the international radar for a few years)
4. Im Dong Hyun (what hasn’t he won?)
5. Oh Jin Hyuk (2012 Olympic champ, amongst much else)
6. Lee Seungyun (2013 world champion) – had the top 70m score with 695.
7. Ku Bonchan (brought home silverware last year)
8. Lee Seung Shin (seems to be new on the block)
1. Ki Bo Bae (2012 Olympic champion)
2. Jeon Sungeun (Team LH pro, Bangkok 2014 indoor champion, 2013 WA Youth champion, 2013 Vegas shoot champ too)
3. Chang Hye Jin (Team LH pro, 2014 Antalya individual champion, 2014 Asian Games team gold)
4. Choi Mi Seon (20 years old, and on the Guangzhou University team – that’s all I’ve got)
5. Heung Soo Nam (Cheongju City Hall team)
6. Lee Tuk Young (2006 and 2014 Asian Games team gold medallist)
7. Kang Chae Young (was a cadet in 2011)
8. Park Mi Kyung (last seen on the international stage in 2003!)
Archers who didn’t make the cut include veterans Yun Ok Hee and Joo Hyun Jung (who has apparently retired), and perhaps most surprisingly, Jung Dasomi, last year’s Asian Games individual champion. There are further warmup tournaments next month which narrow down the eight to a front-line four that will likely contest the big events.
The biggest story of all is the triumphant return of Ki Bo Bae, after failing to make the 2014 squad due to a shoulder injury. She had maintained considerable form, managing to shoot a 1391 FITA last year for her pro team – even though a TV news piece at the end of last year hinted she might be retiring from international archery. Also, Im Dong Hyun, who was slightly in the wilderness in 2014, has achieved a truly staggering 13th consecutive selection for the national team.
It’s an interesting mix of familiar faces, veterans and youngsters; the real ones to watch might be the young wunderkinds Choi Mi Seon, who was leading the ranking round for two days, and Youth Olympic champion Lee Woo Seok (who, rumour has it, scored 710 for a 70m round earlier this year). If they deliver this season, who would actually bet against an Olympic medal next year?
EDIT: and here they all are (via the KAA)