Yankton 2015: 8 finals matches to follow
As the world youth championships draw to a conclusion, the young men and women with spots in the cadet and junior finals matches prepare to shoot for podium spots in front of the Easton Archery Centre in Yankton.
We’ve picked out eight highlight matches from finals weekend…
Recurve junior women’s individual gold final: PENG – TPE / BROWN – USA
The first time PENG Chia-Mao competed in an international event was one year ago in her home country at an Asian Grand Prix event where she won mixed team gold.
PENG started the week by seeding fourth on the ranking round. She flew through the first elimination phases with one clean sheet and two 6-2 score lines.
In the semis, she repeated 6-0 again against Russian Tuyana DASHIDORZHIEVA.
PENG shoots against the USA’s Mackenzie BROWN for gold.
BROWN has more than six years of international experience in her pocket, but did not win a medal at either of the last two youth worlds she attended in 2011 and 2013.
Mackenzie’s first chance to become a world youth recurve junior champion started early this week when she was seeded seventh.
In the third round, she beat Sally GILDER, 6-0. Then, Italian Lucilla BOARI and KIM Chaeyun from Korea.
According to BROWN, she had her mental game on point for the semis against Oceania RICO from Spain, as the conditions were difficult and she was very cold. Mackenzie won in five sets, 7-3.
Neither PENG or BROWN has ever won a youth world title, but BROWN is at home with all the support.
Olympic silver medallist Marcus D’ALMEIDA is back in force after a bad start to his 2015 archery season.
Back to his old equipment, the Carioca has a chance to hand Brazil a gold medal and prove he’s still one of the best in the world and that his preparation ahead of Rio 2016 Olympic Games is on track.
Marcus was consistent not only through his qualification round – where he ranked first – but through the head-to-head matches, where he beat States man Ryan OLIVER and Korean LEE Seungjun, both 7-3.
D’ALMEIDA’s opponent is number two seed and 16-year-old Jan VAN TONGEREN from the Netherlands.
The sixteen-year-old Dutch also had a bye into the third round – where had shot against Germany’s Adrian SCHEIDING in cold and windy weather.
After five sets, the match was tied.
A perfect 10 shoot-off arrow, guaranteed Jan a pass into the next round and set him on a run that would net him a ticket to the final. In the next phases, he beat Florian BILLOUE and WONG Ka Lok, as well as China’s LIU Baijun in the semis.
Seventeen-year-old Domagoj BUDEN and Mario VAVRO are two of the best-known Croatian archers on the international archery circuit. They both started competing as cadets in the World Archery Youth Championships in Poland in 2011.
At those worlds, neither of them made the podium – although VAVRO finished fourth.
The pair has competed in European championships – both indoor and outdoor – as well as in field events. VAVRO also attended the 2013 World Archery Championships in Belek, where he made the top 10.
Two years ago, in the last youth world champs in Wuxi, BUDEN claimed an individual cadet gold and a mixed team silver. VAVRO won bronze.
Fourth-ranked in Yankton, BUDEN met HANSEN in a tied match during the semis that the Dane won in a one-arrow shoot-off.
Stephan took a clear win: 10 to an 8 for Domagoj.
Mario was second-ranked and won comfortably in the third and fourth rounds. He beat Turkey’s Samet Can YAKALI by two points, but lost to USA’s David HOUSER by four points, 139-143, in the semis.
Young, talented and experienced, Domagoj and Mario – friends and opponents – will, for sure, provide excitement and a great show.
Fatimah ALMASHHADANI has the chance to become first Iraqi cadet world champion.
Two years a go in Wuxi, she was fifth. Then, in 2014, she won two silver medals – one in Antalya in the third stage of the Archery World Cup, and a second one at a Grand Prix in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Fatimah shot 680 out of 720 points to qualify first. Until the quarterfinals, she won all the elimination matches by more than eight points.
In the semis, the storyline was completely different – even though it ended the same way.
Fatimah shot against Maria Fernanda GARZA from Mexico. It was a tight 15-arrow match that she won by just three points, 140-137.
ALMASHHADANI said she wanted to bring the joy to her country. To do it, she must beat Dutch girl Evelien GROENEVELD.
Evelien does not have Fatimah’s international experience, but she did shoot strong throughout the week to earn a well-deserved place in the finals.
She was the only cadet that shot over 140 points in the third round, when the wind was at its highest, in which she beat Batdulam BATTSETSEG from Mongolia by 20 points.
In the semis, she topped second-ranked States girl Dahlia CROOK, 138-137.
Recurve junior mixed team final: Korea – Chinese Taipei
The Korean pair is made up of top seeded and Nanjing’s gold and bronze individual medallists LEE Woo Seok and LEE Eun Gyeong.
The two LEEs won their first two elimination matches in three sets, against Turkey and China – both 5-1 – and beat Ukraine in four sets, 6-2, in the semis.
Chinese Taipei is not an easy opponent, though.
PENG Chia-Mao and CHEN Hsin-Fu first beat the Polish team, 5-3. Then, won over Italy in straight sets to shoot against France in the semis. Four sets and a repeat score line, 5-3, put them into the finals.
The Korean pair admitted earlier in the week they do enjoy shooting together – and the chemistry is visible to anyone.
Chinese Taipei has already won bronze in a couple of team matches, but not yet a gold and for both PENG and CHENG, silver is not an option.
Compound junior mixed team final: Denmark / Colombia
Two weeks ago, the Danish pairing of Stephan HANSEN and Tanja JENSEN competed in the mixed team event at the Archery World Cup in Antalya.
There, the pair went against all predictions and beat India, France and Germany – three experienced teams – to claim gold.
Stephan has been competing since 2009. He was 2011 and 2013 youth world champion. This year, he has the chance to repeat the feat again. Traveling the world with the senior team, he has made the podium at other international events and has Tanja in the winning track, too.
They had a bye straight into the quarterfinals where they beat Sweden by 11 points, 148-137. Then, they met the States in the semis and went through by just one point. One enough to be in the final.
Their opponent: Reigning world champion Colombia.
Colombia won the last youth worlds with Sara LOPEZ and Camilo CARDONA and its this pair that came to Yankton.
They beat Hong Kong, Ukraine and Great Britain without any trouble, proving their experience and effective teamwork.
LOPEZ and CARDONA are from the same club in Colombia. They live in the same city, they both study medicine and they get to train and travel together all the time.
Having the last chance to show how strong they are together at the junior level, this pair will clearly want to go back home with their names on top – but they don’t have it easily.
Recurve junior men’s team final: Korea / USA
Korea had gold at Ogden 2009 and Legnica 2011.
The Asian nation won the fourth round in fourth sets over Finland, 6-4 – and beat PR China straight to the semis where they shot against France.
The match was tied 4-4. Korea won the tiebreaker with 28 out of 30 points, against 25 from France – who then lost to Japan in the bronze medal match.
Wuxi silver medallist, the USA started its team campaign by going to a shoot-off against Mexico. The local squad went through by scoring a nearly perfect set with 29 points.
In the quarters they knocked-out Chinese Taipei – and then beat Japan in the semis, 5-3.
Compound cadet women’s team final: USA / Mexico
The USA has never lost this medal at the youth worlds. Both the States girls and Mexico had a bye straight into the semis in Yankton.
The USA beat Australia, 224-218, while Mexico did the same over Great Britain, 228-213.
A clash of two teams made up of young, talented and optimistic girls – with some good individual results – with the drive to make the podium.
Read more about Yankton 2015.