South Korea’s archery team finished with an individual medal at the Berlin 2023 World Championships last weekend. After sweeping all five gold medals (men’s and women’s individual, team, and mixed) in the recurve category at the 2021 Yankton (South Dakota, USA) Games, this year’s men’s team and mixed gold medals were an embarrassment. The women’s team surprised fans by failing to win any medals, either individually or as a team.
It’s a shame that Korean archery didn’t perform as well as it could have with just one year to go before the Paris 2024 Olympics. In terms of performance, Korea’s inability to adapt to the local winds and other weather conditions may have contributed to their lack of success. However, it is possible to analyze that other countries did better than South Korea. This is actually more shocking.
In the women’s individual competition, foreign athletes dominated. In the qualification round, Lim Im-hyun of Korea Gymnastics finished second with 675 points (out of 720). She tied with Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia with the same score, but trailed 34-36 in arrows on 10 (including X10). Lim shot 31 arrows for 9s and seven for 8s, which she called “mistakes.
Kang Chae-young (Hyundai Mobis), who finished third in qualifying with 672 points, shot 10 for 29, 9 for 38 and 8 for 5. Ansan, the three-time defending Olympic champion, was fourth with 666 points. The breakdown was 10 points, 31 shots, 9 points, 29 shots, 8 points, 11 shots, and 7 points. Their average was 671 points (2013 total). This is only 6 points behind the average of 677 points (2032 total points – Olympic record) at the Tokyo Olympics when An, Jang Min-hee, and Kang Chae-young competed.
671 is a high score. To score 671 in 72 shots, you need to consistently shoot 28 points per three-shot standard. This is the usual performance of the South Korean women, one of the strongest in the world. An, Kang, Chae-young, and Im cruised through the tournament-style individual competition. However, all three were unexpectedly eliminated in the quarterfinals. Their quarterfinal scores ranged from 27.7 to 28.4 points per three-shot average. You can’t really say they played poorly. And yet, they lost. They lost because they kept losing the one-shot matches.
In the past, foreign players were often intimidated by Korean players and made mistakes. Nowadays, it’s different. Instead, they say, ‘Let’s give it a try’ and attack with confidence. Marie Horáčková, who became the first Czech player to win the women’s individual title, was ranked seventh in qualifying (658 points) and rose through the tournament, especially from the quarterfinals to the final.
In the quarterfinals, Horatskova swept past Hyun Im in straight sets (29-27, 29-28, 29-28). In the quarterfinals, she swept Japan’s Satsuki Noda (ranked 22nd in qualifying – 649 points) 6-0 (29-27, 30-27, 29-28) after defeating Kang Chae-young. Horatskova advanced to the final against Mexico’s Alejandra Valencia 6-0 (29-28, 28-27, 29-27). Of her 27 shots in the quarterfinals and final, 18 were 10s and nine were 9s. On a three-shot basis, that’s an average of 29 points. He didn’t miss a single shot.
Kim Jeduk (Yeocheoncheong), the only Korean male player to reach the quarterfinals, fell to Brazil’s Marcos D’Almeida in straight sets, 0-6 (28-29, 29-30, 27-28). The world number one was down by one point in each set. Dalmeyda, who showed remarkable concentration in the heavy rain, lost to Turkey’s Mete Gazoz (World No. 12) in the quarterfinals in straight sets, 3-7. Gazoz, the individual champion at the Tokyo Olympics, went on to defeat Canada’s Eric Peters 6-4 in the final to claim his first World 안전놀이터Championship title. The World Championships proved that there are many strong foreign players who can beat Korean players at any time.
The Korean team will travel to Paris, France, on July 7 for a training camp before competing in the fourth edition of the Archery World Cup from July 15-20. The tournament will serve as a test event for the Paris Olympics. The Korean women’s team is aiming to win the Asian Championships in Bangkok, Thailand, in November to qualify for the team event in Paris next year.