Las Vegas 2015 and the Indoor World Cup Final: What You Need to Know
Last year, The Vegas Shoot broke its own participation records with about 2,300 registered archers. One year later and that personal best mark for the event was blown past some weeks ago.
Knocking on the door of 2,700 competitors – from the world’s best to rookie tournament archers – this Vegas Shoot is the biggest yet.
It is also unique on the World Archery and Indoor Archery World Cup calendars as the fourth stage, made up of the first two (of three) days of The Vegas Shoot does not conform to normal international rules.
It’s an athlete and fan favourite – and one of the toughest competitions to win in the world.
Here’s what you need to know for Las Vegas 2015…
Packed three-day schedule
Archery TV will be live broadcasting the evening sessions from all three days of The Vegas Shoot 2015. Check Archery.TV for more information.
Friday: First day of competition at The Vegas Shoot. Archers shoot 30 arrows at 18-metres (all with the big 10). In the evening, the World Archery Gala hosts the 2014 Athlete of the Year Awards – and more.
[WATCH ONLINE: World Archery Gala]
Saturday: Second day of competition at The Vegas Shoot. Archers shoot second 30 arrows and are ranked on score for their two-day, 60-arrow total and awarded Indoor World Cup ranking points.
The top 16 athletes in the four competition divisions are invited to shoot in the Indoor World Cup Final: international head-to-head matchplay brackets run in the evening.
[WATCH ONLINE: Indoor Archery World Cup Final]
Sunday: Third day of competition at The Vegas Shoot. Archers shoot third 30 arrows – the total three-day, 90-arrow score determines final positions at The Vegas Shoot.
If tied for the lead (and at least 20 athletes will not have dropped a point – using the big 10 – in the compound men’s competition), archers shoot a sudden-death event where all but the athletes with the highest scores each end are eliminated.
The last man (or woman – depending on the division) standing wins the generous prize pot!
[WATCH ONLINE: The Vegas Shoot-off]
Four Defending Champions: Indoor Archery World Cup Final
Saturday night’s Indoor Archery World Cup Final is the culmination of a four-stage competition circuit that began in Marrakesh last November.
The USA’s Erika JONES was dominant indoors last season. This year she won the compound women’s final at stage two in Bangkok but did not shoot in Marrakesh and went out early at Nimes. She might not be on top form right now.
Surprise finalist and surprise winner in 2014, Frenchman Sebastien PEINEAU only has the couple of points he accrued from competing in Marrakesh and Nimes. No real points finish as of yet. Then again, he came from nearly nowhere (the 16th seed) to take the compound men’s win last year!
His recurve counterpart on the podium last season, London Olympic fourth-place finisher Rick VAN DER VEN (NED) has not had a podium this year.
Last year’s recurve women’s competition at the Las Vegas Final was dominated by Team LH, as was the rest of the circuit. PARK Se Hui won Vegas, but it was a carousel of Korean athletes from the construction firm’s professional team that climbed the podium at each stage.
No such clear-cut dominance for LH in 2014/15, though. Just two LH archers arrive in Vegas sitting in the top eight.
See results from the 2013/14 Indoor Archery World Cup Final.
One European winner, ever: The Vegas Shoot
The Vegas Shoot has been running since the middle of the last century. It’s a tradition, a pilgrimage and a unique event.
Never before 2014 had a European archer won the pro’s compound men’s competition (Freestyle Championship) at The Vegas Shoot – although many had come close. Recently-crowned World Champion at the time, young Dutchman Mike SCHLOESSER rewrote that part of history.
The day after Seb PEINEAU won the Indoor World Cup Final, it was Seb that Mike beat out in the final two of the famous Vegas shoot-off.
It’s a sudden death final, where the last person to miss (or not miss) takes home the crown. With Mike’s recent form – he shot the world’s first-ever perfect 600 in World Archery indoor competition (using the small 10) at Nimes and took gold – the odds for a repeat are not bad.
But in likely the toughest Vegas field we’ve seen, they can’t really be called good, either!
Three Storylines to Follow
1) How many medals Korea leave with. Over the last two stages, Korean archers from professional teams LH, Hyundai Steel and Hyundai Mobis have collected nine of an available 12 recurve podium places.
Olympic Champion OH Jin Hyek had his first indoor medal in Nimes – but was outclassed in the final by Hyundai Steel teammate MIN Byeong Yeon.
There’s been no recurve men’s Indoor World Cup winner from Asia before.
2) Women’s competition opening up. LH has had indoor monopoly on the recurve women’s division for a couple of seasons – and Erika JONES was during the 2013/14 circuit.
That‘s not the case this time around – and the women’s events have the potential to throw up something completely unexpected in Vegas.
3) Mike SCHLOESSER has not failed to make a final four indoors this season. The question is less “how long can that continue?” and more… “who can stop him?”
Snapshot: Finals Qualification
Three legs of the 2014/15 Indoor Archery World Cup circuit complete, here’s a quick looks of the qualification situation for the Las Vegas Final.
Recurve men: Locked – nobody’s clear at the top. Brady ELLISON – three-time outdoor Archery World Cup winner is as good as safe, as are Korean Nimes winner KIM Byeong Yeon and Jean-Charles VALLADONT (FRA). Twelve ranking points separates the fourth and 20th seeds.
On the bubble – reigning champ Rick VAN DER VEN (NED) and Italy’s Max MANDIA. Both 12th in points right now, in a murky qualification situation.
Recurve women: Locked – in previous years, it has been Korean Team LH in the top four seeds for Vegas. This year 2003 world indoor winner Berengere SCHUH (FRA) leads the field. She will be overtaken – but not pushed out of her Final spot – if she can’t keep ahead of the Koreans before Saturday evening.
SCHUH’s 39-point ranking total includes three stages already (so she can only improve her eight-point worst finish as a maximum of three are counted) while the Korean pair in second and third – on 37 and 33 points – only competed at two.
On the bubble – Indoor World Champion Aida ROMAN from Mexico. She went out early in Nimes after securing the top score in qualification, has secured just five ranking points arriving in Nimes and sits in a low joint 20th.
On the bubble – only 16 athletes qualify and top USA archers like Jesse BROADWATER and Dave COUSINS are in joint 18th with five others. There is no Korean in a qualifying spot despite showings at both stages two and three.
Compound women: Locked – Crystal GUAVIN (USA). She’s not won a stage this year but has made the last eight at all three.
On the bubble – Brit Andrea GALES, who’s a previous Indoor Archery World Cup Champion, and Dutch archer Inge VAN CASPEL. Inge sits in 12th heading to Vegas and she’ll likely need to collect points to maintain that position.
See the full series rankings.
Five Big Predictions
Check back after competition in Las Vegas concludes on Sunday 8 February to see how many of these predictions were correct.
1) Four continents collect an Indoor World Cup Final medal for the first time: Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa. (South Africa has the second and sixth compound women’s seeds after three stages.)
2) Korean athletes only win one of the two Indoor World Cup recurve titles. The recurve women’s competition is too open this year.
3) No Indoor World Cup Champion repeats in 2015.
4) Mike SCHLOESSER wins the Indoor World Cup Final but does not repeat as Vegas Shoot Champion. It’s just too tough.
5) More than 30 compound men finish the 90-arrow Vegas Shoot without dropping a single arrow out of the big 10 ring. That’s a lot of 10s.
One way to follow: Check WorldArchery.org throughout the weekend to catch live scores from Las Vegas on Friday, Saturday and Sunday – and coverage (including live video) of the Indoor Archery World Cup Final on Saturday night.
Read more about Las Vegas 2015.