World Cup Final Paris awaits archery superstars

Lausanne, Sept 17, 2013: The 32 finalists are preparing themselves for the 2013 edition of the World Cup Final which will be held in the Esplanade of the Trocadero in Paris on 21-22 September.

Four thrilling World Cup stages defined the athletes qualified for the ultimate goal: the Grand Final in Paris! Shanghai (CHN), Antalya (TUR), Medellin (COL) and Wroclaw (POL) distributed the precious points that allowed the top athletes to earn their tickets to the French capital. These four cities will be stage hosts again next year.

New nations access the World Cup Final

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The eighth edition of the archery World Cup has been exciting from all points of view. If countries like Colombia and Poland were new hosts for stages, new nations will be represented in the Final as well.

The amazing compound athletes from Colombia Sara LOPEZ and Alejandra USQUIANO made a spectacular breakthrough and put their country on the international scene, with excellent performances over the season. LOPEZ won two gold medals in Antalya (individual and team) and a team silver medal in Medellin; USQUIANO contributed to the same team medals, and in addition won the individual gold medal in her hometown of Medellin.

In the recurve division, Khairul Anuar MOHAMAD is hoping to shine on Sunday 22 September, the day of his 22nd birthday, for his first World Cup Final! A team silver medal, as well as 4th and 8th place finishes individually, demonstrate a very good season for the first Archery World Cup finalist in Malaysian history.

Other new contenders

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Korea, the world’s top recurve archery power, presents new finalists this year: JOO Hyun Jung on the women’s side and LEE Seungyun on the men’s side edged stronger teammates KI Bo Bae, JIN Jae Wang or IM Dong Hyun out of the Final, a testament to the impressive reservoir of champions from the Land of the Morning Calm. JOO’s shining moment came in Shanghai, where she won team and individual bronze medals, supplemented by good 4th place finishes in Antalya and Wroclaw. As for LEE, he has been consistent throughout the season: after finishing 5th and 6th in Shanghai and Antalya, he fought hard to qualify for Paris during the final stage of the Archery World Cup. The second Korean qualified for Paris would be the one, between LEE and his teammate JIN, the other would watch the Final on TV. The rest is history: 18-year-old LEE came back from Poland with the individual gold medal, in addition to the team gold medal and the mixed team silver medal.

Korea also made a good World Cup Final entry in the compound division. SEOK Ji Hyun for the women and MIN Lihong for the men are the first Korean compound athletes to qualify for the Final. In Shanghai, SEOK had opened the season in dramatic fashion by winning the individual and team gold as well as the mixed team silver medal. Later in the season she completed her medal collection with an individual silver in Antalya and a team bronze in Wroclaw. As for MIN, more modest but still very reliable, in addition to the mixed team silver he won with SEOK in Shanghai, he led his team to two bronze medal wins in Shanghai and Wroclaw. Individually, he reached 6th place in Shanghai and 5th in Antalya.

Competing in the World Cup for the first time, China’s CUI Yuanyuan (recurve women) and ZHANG Jianping (recurve men) have joined the club of finalists with fantastic performances. CUI won individual and mixed team golds in her very first World Cup appearance in Antalya, and won individual and team bronzes in Medellin. As for ZHANG, he climbed the World Cup podium four times this year, winning two individual bronze medals as well as one team silver and one team bronze.

It was only a matter of time: the 25-year-old Olympic silver medallist from Mexico City Aída ROMAN has reached the World Cup Final for the first time in her career. She qualified thanks to consistent shooting across the season: 8th in Shanghai, 6th in Antalya, 9th in Medellin and 7th in Wroclaw, which allowed her to finish 6th in the World Cup ranking 2013. She also won a mixed team bronze medal and is the only recurve athlete to have earned qualifying points in all four World Cup stages.

Olympic team champion Mauro NESPOLI will represent Italy in recurve, with dependable performances over the first three World Cup stages where he placed 7th, 4th and 5th. He also won the silver medal in the mixed team event in Wroclaw.

Another new archer to the World Cup Final is Danish archer Patrick LAURSEN, who secured his ticket for the compound event thanks to an excellent showing at the second stage. In Turkey, he won the team and individual gold medals as well as the mixed team silver. He then secured his qualification thanks to a 7th place finish in Wroclaw.

France will be well represented in the compound division: Pascale LEBECQUE earned her qualification thanks to a 5th place finish in Antalya and 8th place finishes in Medellin and Wroclaw, which allowed her to take the final qualifying spot, thus allowing for another French archer, Sophie DODEMONT, to receive the French wild card in this category. DODEMONT placed 6th in Antalya and 9th in Wroclaw, and finished 4th as a member of the French team in both Antalya and Medellin.

In the recurve women’s category, Cyrielle COTRY will represent France as wild card athlete from the host country. She will also take part in the mixed team event with Gaël PREVOST, facing Korea. The best result obtained by the pair of COTRY/PREVOST this season is a 7th place finish in Turkey.

The frequent finalists: compound women

The United States’ Erika JONES is taking part in her third World Cup Final and is likely the athlete of the year in this category. Bronze medallist at the Edinburgh Final in 2010, she will try to match her victory from Istanbul 2011. This season, JONES won three individual silver medals and climbed the highest step of the podium twice in the mixed team event and once in the team event.

Reigning world champion Albina LOGINOVA from Russia also qualified for her third Final, after appearances in 2010 – when she won the gold medal – 2011 and 2012. LOGINOVA recently clinched the individual gold medal in Poland, in addition to the mixed team silver medal. She also won the individual bronze medal in Shanghai and placed 5th in Medellin. A team bronze from Antalya completes her medal tally for the season.

Kristina BERGER of Germany competed in Tokyo last year. This season, she secured her qualification with two bronze medals in Antalya and Wroclaw, and a 9th place finish in Shanghai.

The frequent finalists – compound men

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Three competitors in particular have had a very impressive track record at the World Cup Final: Italy’s Sergio PAGNI and the United States’ Braden GELLENTHIEN and Reo WILDE. PAGNI has won the Final twice, in 2009 in Copenhagen and 2010 in Edinburgh, more than any other athlete in this division. He added a bronze at Istanbul 2011 to his track record, after leaving the 2008 Final in Lausanne empty-handed. Over the 2013 season, PAGNI has won a silver medal in Wroclaw, obtained an 8th place in Shanghai and a 9th place in Medellin. He also earned his qualification to shoot the mixed team final against France by winning two gold medals and one bronze alongside Marcella TONIOLI this season.

GELLENTHIEN was the winner in Tokyo last year. Before that, he had won three silver medals in 2007 in Dubai, 2009 and 2010. He found more success this season, adding substantially to his collection of medals: triple gold medallist in Shanghai, team silver medallist and fourth individually in Antalya, individual and team silver medallist in Medellin, and double gold medallist in the team and mixed team events in Wroclaw.

As for WILDE, he won the inaugural World Cup Final at the foot of the Mayapan Pyramids in 2006 as well as two silver medals in 2011 and 2012. The 2013 season was no less spectacular for him: he won individual bronze and team gold in Shanghai; took team silver and placed 5th in Antalya; won individual gold and team silver in Medellin; and finally won team gold and placed 6th individually in Wroclaw.

The Danish archer DAMSBO made the Final for the third time. Ranked 6th in 2010 and 2011, he will strive to improve this result following a very good 2013 season: silver medallist in Shanghai, individual bronze medallist and team gold medallist in Antalya, he also earned the team silver and placed 4th individually in Medellin.

French archers Pierre-Julien DELOCHE and Dominique GENET qualified for their second World Cup Final in a row. DELOCHE, 9th in Shanghai and gold medallist in Wroclaw, will arrive in Paris fully confident. These athletes led the French team to bronze in Antalya and gold in Medellin. GENET pocketed his qualification thanks to a 4th place finish in Wroclaw and a 5th place finish in Medellin.

The frequent finalists – recurve women

Korea’s YUN Ok Hee has qualified for her fourth Final at 28 years old. A victory in 2010 and bronze medals in 2008 and 2009 show what an incredible archer she is. YUN never travels for nothing and hasn’t left a competition without a medal this year: individually, she won gold in Shanghai and Wroclaw, and achieved silver in Antalya. With her team, she clinched two silver medals in Antalya and Wroclaw; when paired with OH Jin Hyek, who will be her partner for the final in Paris, she won the mixed team gold medal in Wroclaw.

At just 16, she took part in her first Final, and repeated that performance in 2011 and 2012 with two silver medals at the end. This year, Deepika KUMARI of India is competing again with the hope to add a new World Cup medal to her records. She was successful during the 2013 season with a silver medal and two individual 6th place finishes, as well as four team and mixed team medals including two golds.

She made her World Cup Final debut in 2011, after qualifying thanks to a first World Cup victory at the Shanghai stage. This year she was back on the podium with a gold medal in Medellin, which earned her the trip to Paris. Russia’s Inna STEPANOVA completed this brilliant victory with 8th and 9th places at two other stages.

Alejandra VALENCIA was the first Mexican woman to qualify for the Final in 2011, and she made the trip again in 2012. After a 9th place finish in Medellin, she did not seem to be in the running for a place in the Final, until she won the bronze medal at the Wroclaw stage, earning her qualification at the very last moment.

The frequent finalists – recurve men

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Current World N°1 OH Jin Hyek competed only once in the World Cup Final, in 2011. This season, he’s won more gold medals than any other athlete, for a total of 6. In the team event, he was undefeated, and he also won individual gold in the first two stages of the season. In the mixed team event, he won a bronze medal with CHANG Hye Jin and a gold with YUN Ok Hee. In the Final, the duo of OH and YUN will pose a significant challenge for the French archers.

We will see the American archer Brady ELLISON compete for the fourth time in a row in the Final, which is a record! The two gold medals he won in 2010 and 2011 and the silver medal from last year attest that he is very comfortable in this event. Over this World Cup season, ELLISON has won one gold medal, two silver and a bronze in the team and mixed team events, but failed to medal individually. His best results this year were 5th, 6th and 8th place finishes.

An unexpected surprise this season is Chinese archer DAI Xiaoxiang, silver medallist at the 2011 Final, who won his trip to Paris thanks to his great victory in Medellin alone. Before that, he had not scored any points, and DAI’s absence from the last stage meant his immediate rivals had the potential to pass him with good performances. However his performance in Colombia and the results of his direct opponents in Poland decided otherwise. The Olympic bronze medallist still clinched two additional medals: one team silver and the mixed team gold.

Very experienced in the World Cup Final, Gaël PREVOST remained at the foot of the podium in 2011, but won the bronze medal in 2012. This season, without the French wild card, he would not have totalled enough points to secure a place in the top seven ; individual 9th and 6th place finishes and a team bronze medal this year, however, are still strong performances – and fans shouldn’t count PREVOST out.

Find all results and rankings from the 2013 World Cup, as well as the finalists’ biographies. Discover the programme of the Final’s matches. —- WA

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