Copenhagen finals preview: Compound Saturday
A week of ever-changing conditions is about to culminate in what is promised to be beautiful sunshine – as the compound finals of the 48th World Archery Championships begin in front of the Danish Parliament, at Christiansborg Palace, on compound Saturday in Copenhagen.
Whatever the weather, top archers from around the world are set to shoot it out for medals and, of course, world champion titles.
Here are our picks for who’ll be taking home the silverware…
Compound men’s individual gold final (afternoon session): Stephan Hansen / Rajat Chauhan
The battle of the day!
Asian Games Champion Rajat Chauhan has been consistent on the Archery World Cup circuit – and last year he finished fifth at the World Cup Final in Lausanne.
During his campaign in Copenhagen, the Indian athlete went into a one-arrow shoot-off against Robert Timms from Australia. The match was tied in 145 points and both Robert and Rajat shot a 10 in the shoot-off, but Rajat’s was closer to the middle.
In the quarters and semis Rajat beat Canada’s Kevin Tataryn and Camilo Cardona from Colombia by three and five points, respectively.
His opponent for the gold medal match: Denmark’s young prodigy Stephan Hansen – who has been the centre of attention throughout matchplay so far.
Just one month prior to the senior worlds, Stephan was crowned – for third time in a row – a youth world champion.
With more than 10 international individual and team medals on his record, the young Viking shot all of his matches live on Denmark’s national channel TV2 and Archery TV – monopolising the home crowd’s attention on and off the field.
His ticket to the final was issued with victories over Swiss archer Roman Haefelfinger, Dutchman Mike Schloesser, Croatia’s dreadlocked Mario Vavro and Brit Adam Ravenscroft.
The toughest match was probably against reigning world champion Mike Schloesser.
After the fifth set, the match was tied at 147 points, forcing the titans into a one-arrow shoot-off that Stephan won with a 10.
Feeling comfortable shooting at home, with no pressure and excited for his first ever senior world final medal match, Stephan will do anything to celebrate on home soil – it won’t be easy, though.
Compound men’s individual bronze final (afternoon session): Camilo Cardona / Adam Ravenscroft
Two years ago in Belek, Camilo Cardona won the mixed gold with teammate Sara Lopez – a title they also won at the World Archery Youth Championships in Yankton, South Dakota, one month ago.
Seeded number ten, Cardona beat Amir Kazempour from Iran in a one-arrow shoot-off to made it to quarters against teammate Daniel Munoz – a match he won by four points, 145-141.
In the semis, Cardona lost to Rajat Chauhan in a match that was decided in the third set. Camilo shot a seven he just could not recover from.
Adam Ravenscroft had the entire British team cheering on him on. They chanted a (barely-recognisable and altered) version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star during his elimination matches – but it was a strategy that clearly worked.
In the fourth round the Brit beat South Africa’s Albertus Cornelius by three. Later in the quarters, Adam won again against Demir Elmaagacli from Turkey.
In his last match of the day – the one that decided whether he would shoot for gold or bronze – Adam shot against local Stephan Hansen on live TV, something that might have brought him a little extra pressure.
Ravenscroft lost by six points, 148-142.
Compound women’s individual gold final (afternoon session): Crystal Gauvin / Kim Yun Hee
Gauvin upset 2014 Archery World Cup Champion Sara Lopez by a point in the semis. Her path to the finals also went through tough opponents in Toja Cerne, Linda Ochoa and Paralympic Champion Danielle Brown.
Seventh seed Kim Yun Hee had two Russian opponents in a row – in the quarters and then semis – in Natalia Avdeeva and Mariia Vinogradova.
Dominant in recurve competition, Korea has never won a compound world title – but in Gauvin the United States has its only chance to win a gold medal at these championships.
Compound women’s individual bronze final (afternoon session): Sara Lopez / Mariia Vinogradova
Reigning Archery World Cup Champion Sara Lopez lost to the USA’s Crystal Gauvin in the semis and lost her chance to fight for a title she has never won.
Lopez started the match with a perfect 30, Crystal with 29 – a score she went on to repeat every set that followed. Sara dropped a couple of 28s.
In the early rounds, the Colombian beat Sakineh Ghasempour, Inge van Caspel and Yessim Bostan – and with more than an eight-point gap in each match.
Twenty-one-year-old Russian Mariia Vinogradova has experienced finals at the world junior level. Two months prior to the worlds, in Antalya at the second stage of the Archery World Cup circuit, Mariia won silver after losing the final to Spaniard Andrea Marcos.
In Copenhagen and as a replay of that match, Mariia took revenge and beat Marcos in the quarters by one point, 142-141.
She also put away Jamie Van Natta from the States and Sarah Holst Sonnichsen from Denmark.
In the semis, the young Russian lost to Korean Kim Yun Hee, 146-145.
Lopez has got plenty of experience, titles and world record on her haul, but Vinogradova is not afraid of that – and she’ll give the highest scorer in history on the 15-arrow match a worthy battle.
Compound mixed team gold final (afternoon session): /
Koreans Kim Yun Hee and Kim Jongho were seeded number five.
After beating Mexico in the first round, the pair upset experienced Italians Marcella Tonioli and Sergio Pagni by four, 145-141. Later in the semis, they beat South Africa by three.
France, with Amelie Sancenot and Dominique Genet, won the first round and the quarters by seven and eight points against Venezuela and USA, respectively. In the semis, France shot against the Russian pair of Albina Loginova and Alexander Dambaev, who they beat by just one point.
Compound women’s team gold final (morning session): /
Seeded number 16, expectations for their first round match against reigning champion Colombia were not high. But the Europeans led from beginning to end – and they beat the top seeds by six points.
The quarterfinals, against host nation Denmark and live on TV on the show target, were tough. Ukraine won by one, then beat Venezuela in the semis to win a ticket to their first gold medal match, ever.
Their opponent: The experienced and world silver medallist Netherlands.
Irina Markovic and Inge Van Caspel have been shooting together on the Dutch team for more than five years. This time, the veteran archers were joined by rookie Evelien Groeneveld – an addition that seems to be working well.
The trio shot well through matches against Mexico, Italy and Korea – and never won by less than four points.
Compound men’s team gold final (morning session): /
Neither Iran nor Canada have ever won the compound men’s world gold – but both have made the podium at the Archery World Cup circuit a few times.
The North American squad beat Australia in the first round and met South Africa in the quarters. South Africa’s Roux, Cornelius and Badenhorst, tied the match in 231 points and forced it into a shoot-off.
Ten, nine, nine, for Canada and 10, 10, eight for South Africa tied the shoot-off at 28 points – but Canada’s first 10 was closer to the X in the centre of the target and gave them the win.
In the semis Canada had one of the world’s strongest teams – and favourites at these worlds – host nation Denmark.
The world champion team arriving in Copenhagen, Martin Damsbo, Stephan Hansen and Patrick Laursen let the match get away from them.
Not shooting to their usual level in windy conditions on their home soil, the Danes lost by four – 227-231 – and Canada took the gold medal match invitation.