An Asia-dominated Antalya 2014 finals schedule: the favourites
Antalya (TUR) - Sunday, June 15, 2014
It’s not a Korean clean sweep like Medellin; in Antalya other Asian recurve athletes stepped up to contest the Antalya podiums. Our picks…
Yet again, though – there’s a German archer shooting for gold. It is neither of the women who picked up medal finishes in Shanghai and Medellin, but young man Florian KAHLLUND.
He’s been methodical in long, five-set wins throughout the eliminations, but the Antalya finals beach is a very different arena.
Recurve men’s individual gold (afternoon session): KAHLLUND (GER) versus KU (KOR)
When there’s a Korean archer in the final, you automatically assume they are the favourite. KU Bonchan’s new, though. He’s shooting in only his second World Cup stage at Antalya 2014, and third international of any kind. (The other was the 2013 Asian Championships, where he finished fourth.)
KAHLLUND, young though he is, is actually the more experienced of the two. Although the qualifying performance that was good enough to earn him the fifth seed was something of an epiphany.
Through the last three rounds of competition, KAHLLUND has averaged 27.4 points per set – while KU’s mark is 27.3. Sure, it is a small margin… but it’s a margin nonetheless.
Recurve men’s individual bronze (afternoon session): CHEN (TPE) versus FURUKAWA (JPN)
Olympic silver medallist Takahara FURUKAWA already dealt out some revenge on the guy that beat him at London 2012, OH Jin Hyek.
CHEN’s a first-time stage finalist – and FURUKAWA’s got serious experience on the world stage. The World Cup ranking points that bronze brings would put him in a strong position to be the second Japanese archer selected for Lausanne.
Recurve women’s individual gold (afternoon session): CHENG (CHN) versus CHANG (KOR)
The last time CHENG Ming won a World Cup stage was Odgen 2011. She won the World Cup Final in Istanbul that year, too. In her semifinal against Ren HAYAKAWA, CHENG averaged 28.5 points over sets.
Her opponent has never won a stage – not individually, at least – and is now in her third season on the Korean World Cup squad.
CHANG Hye Jin will be tough to beat. (She’s as high-scoring as any Korean woman.) But CHENG’s got the pedigree and ability to do it.
Recurve women’s individual bronze (afternoon session): HAYAKAWA (JPN) versus JOO (KOR)
Ren HAYAKAWA saw off Inna STEPANOVA and LEE Tuk Young on her way to this intriguing final – her third match of the day.
She has the experience to handle that amount of competition, but getting past Olympic team gold medallist and former world champion JOO is a stern test for any archer.
HAYAKAWA has been shooting well enough to pull it off.
Recurve men’s team gold (morning session): Korea versus Russia
The Korean men bulldozed their way to this gold medal match. They dropped just two set points on the way despite all – apart ferom KU Bonchan – struggling individually in the tournament. Russia had an easier path, but they needed a shoot-off to get past Japan.
Korea are the strong favourites, but they were run very close by India in Medellin, in the most exciting team match of the season.
With the noisiest support on the field, and much less to lose, the Russians might just pull off a shock win… but the most important word in that last sentence: “might”.
Recurve women’s team gold (morning session): Korea versus China
Another London 2012 rematch in Antalya: this one the recurve women’s team final. Korea won that – but China has beaten the ‘great whites’ before. Back at the Asian Championships in New Delhi in 2005 – if you can remember that far back.
Korea stamped their usual authority over the team eliminations after a shoot-off win over Colombia in the first round. They won that with three 10s.
China will need to find that gap in the Korean armour the Colombian girls exposed if they want to stake a claim on this stage title.
Recurve mixed team gold (afternoon session): India versus China
Bombalya Devi LAISHRAM and Jayanta TALUKDAR take on WANG Gang and Olympic silver medallist FANG Yuting of China. No shortage of talent there, but the Indians beat teams like Korea and Germany on the way to this final.
TALUKDAR didn't shoot so well in the men's team event, however – so it’s worth watching whether that continues or he performs extra well to compensate.
Advantage: Push (could go either way)
Competition at the third 2014 Archery World Cup stage in Antalya runs from 11-15 June. Check scores, event news and visit World Archery’s Facebook page and @worldarchery on Twitter for coverage.