Shanghai – China, April 15, 2012: The recurve division’s competition at the Archery World Cup 2012 Stage 1 in Shanghai has ended with the four individual medal matches. On the men’s side Brady ELLISON (USA) was again a cut above the competition. He clinched a straightforward victory over Dmytro HRACHOV (UKR). In the women’s event KI Bo Bae (KOR) ruined local hopes when she defeated FANG Yuting (CHN).
Recurve Women Individual – Bronze Medal: CHOI Hyeonju (KOR/5) v Miranda LEEK (USA/34)
At 24 years old CHOI Hyeonju is a newcomer this year in the Korean national team. Competing in her first international event, she reached the bronze final in Shanghai. Though very young, her opponent Miranda LEEK, 19, became team indoor world champion and individual runner-up in Vegas early this year. She reached her best world ranking, 15th, just before Shanghai after she won both the individual and team events at the Arizona Cup three weeks ago.
The Korean had a perfect start with two 10s. As her opponent scored 8 and 9, CHOI clinched the first set with a 9 (2-0). She continued with three arrows in the yellow, three 9s. Starting with 9-8, LEEK could have tied the set with a 10, but she shot a 9, lost the set and trailed 0-4.
CHOI did not allow any chance to her opponent from the U.S. to recover in this match. She again did not leave the yellow ring (10 or 9). With 29 points in the third set, the Korean clinched a straightforward victory, 6-0. LEEK let the medal go without having anything to be ashamed of. She was consistent in her game with 27-26-27, but her opponent was consistent at a notch higher level with 29-27-29.
Recurve Women Individual – Gold Medal: KI Bo Bae (KOR/1) v FANG Yuting (CHN/11)
KI Bo Bae, 24, has been a member of her national team since 2010. She is now 2nd in the world ranking after she reached top place in August 2011. At her second World Cup appearance in Shanghai last year, the Korean won the three gold medals at stake (individual, team and mixed team)! Her opponent of the day FANG Yuting, 23, was world championships bronze medallist and runner-up at the Olympic Test Event in London in 2011.
The best archer currently in the world, KI, opened the match with a 7. The Korean managed to save a 1-point set with a 10 at her third arrow. The score was tied at 1-1. As the two ladies were tied after two arrows in the second set (18 points each), FANG released a 7 and let the set go: 3-1 for KI.
KI and FANG then scored 28 points each in the third set and the gap remained at 4-2. As the Chinese scored 28 points again (8-10-10), the Korean shot 10-9 and had to shoot a perfect last shot to win… She did it and clinched another gold medal in Shanghai (6-2)!
Recurve Men Individual – Bronze Medal: Thomas AUBERT (FRA/29) v CHENG Chu Sian (MAS/38)
Thomas AUBERT, 23, was team silver world medallist in Ulsan 2009 and also runner-up at the Shanghai World Cup’s team event the same year. Individually, his best result so far in the World Cup is 2nd in Antalya two years ago. CHENG Chu Sian joined the national team in 2002 at 16 years old! With the Malaysian team he won the Asian Championships in October and was 2nd in Shanghai last year. He started 2012 with an 8th place finish at the Bangkok Asian Grand Prix in February.
AUBERT and CHENG met once in the past. It was also in China, in the 1/8 eliminations of the Summer Universiade 2011, and their first encounter turned to the advantage of the Asian archer, 7-3.
The Frenchman shot a perfect opening arrow (10) and followed with 9-8. His 27 points were enough against his opponent’s 26 to win the set and take the lead 2-0. AUBERT again scored 27 in the second set and CHENG tied the set with the same total (3-1).
AUBERT was only one set point away from victory (5-1) after he easily won the third set 28-24. However, with nothing to lose his opponent from Malaysia seemed released from pressure and he scored 29 points to win the fourth set and stay alive in the match (3-5). CHENG again hit the yellow three times in the final set and put pressure on AUBERT with 28 points. As the Frenchman could only score 26, the game was tied at 5-5: shoot-off!
The tie-break arrow was an 8 for AUBERT and he thought he had lost. However, CHENG released almost the same arrow and the two needed to be measured by the Judge to decide the winner… Finally, the Malaysian’s was proved the closest to the centre, and disappointment for the French representative!
Recurve Men Individual – Gold Medal: Dmytro HRACHOV (UKR/9) v Brady ELLISON (USA/7)
A member of his national team since 2004, Dmytro HRACHOV, 28, lived in the shadow of his teammate and reigning Olympic champion Viktor RUBAN for several years and yet he won the bronze medal in the team event of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games with RUBAN and Oleksandr SERDYUK. Individually, HRACHOV burst last year when he qualified for the Istanbul World Cup Final where he finished 3rd. Today he is the best Ukrainian representative in the world ranking, 5th.
At 24 years old, Brady ELLISON is the unquestionable No. 1 in the world. He has been in the national team since 2006 and took part in his first Olympic Games in Beijing (27th). He won the World Cup Final two years in a row (2010 and 2011) and also clinched victory at the Olympic Test Event in London last October. ELLISON is competing in Shanghai for the second time after he won both team and mixed team events in 2011. ELLISON faced HRACHOV three times in the World Cup before for three victories!
HRACHOV could not make capital out of a 10-10 perfect opening. His third arrow was a 7 and he let the set go 27-28. ELLISON was completely in his match and shot 29 points in the second set. His opponent from Ukraine seemed to lose his footing at the time with a 6 and only 23 points. Score: 4-0 for ELLISON.
The American knocked a nail into the coffin with another 29-point set and clinched a straightforward victory 6-0! He hit the yellow ring (five 10s and four 9s) with all nine arrows he shot in this final. The World Cup Stage 1 in Shanghai will end on Sunday with all compound medal matches.