Salt Lake 2017: 10 things you need to know

19 June 2017
Salt Lake City (USA)
The third stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 20 to 25 June.

The first of the 2017 circuit’s new cities – Salt Lake – is also the start of the back half of this full season. Shanghai and Antalya are done, and stage three is pivotal for those in the race to qualification for the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final.

From the plush, modern Easton Salt Lake Archery Centre – and the beautiful surrounding plains and mountains – here’s what you need to know before arrows fly…

1. All but locked

Though two stages of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup, no archer is mathematically locked for qualification to the World Cup Final, this year being held in early September in Rome.

That said, Sarah Sonnichsen, Sara Lopez and Ksenia Perova would need everything to go against them to not be issued an invitation. A points finish in Salt Lake is all they need.

2. Win percentages

For all archers who’ve competed in more than 10 matches at world ranking or world level tournaments, the win percentages leaders are:

One archer has a perfect win record. The Netherland’s Steve Wijler made his international debut in Shanghai and won all six of his matches on his way to gold at the opening stage.

Our database has 223 matches on record for Brady Ellison at Hyundai Archery World Cup, World Archery Championships and indoor world events. (The most of any archer in Salt Lake.) He’s won 171 of them, or 77%.

3. Weather report

It’s going to be sunny all week in Salt Lake City, with temperatures between 30 and 40 degrees Celsius (that’s breaking the 100-barrier in Fahrenheit).

Over two days of casual practice, the wind has been minimal in the mornings, stronger in the afternoons. (The schedule has recurve qualification running before lunchtime – so expect higher scores there.)

4. On the bubble

Oh Jin Hyek: Down in 14th in the recurve men’s rankings, Oh has a huge uphill climb to qualify for Rome. Not only would he need to accrue some solid points, but he’d also have to hope teammates Kim Woojin and Im Dong Hyun, both ranked higher than him, don’t. Nations can only send a maximum of two athletes in each division.

Mike Schloesser: The reigning Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion finished ninth in Shanghai and didn’t shoot in Antalya. Sitting 20th in the rankings, it’s not yet all or nothing time – but a strong finish at stage three would go a long way to putting Mike in a position to defend his title.

Deepika Kumari and Atanu Das: Kumari, ninth in the recurve women’s list, and Atanu, 10th in the men’s, accrued points at both of the first two stages – and slow and steady leads to a ticket to Rome. The problem is that neither are shooting in Salt Lake City – so both, if they shoot at stage four, will need points.

5. 4 world #1s

Stephan Hansen, Sara Lopez, Jean-Charles Valladont and Ki Bo Bae are the four number one ranked archers in world as of the start of Salt Lake. All four are also competing at the event.

A total of 20 archers have held the position in their careers – but only one of those arrives at stage three without a world ranking at all. Erika Jones, who was number one before Lopez, until 11 August 2014, will return to international duty after a two-plus year break while she had a baby.

6. 690 barrier

Five recurve archers in Salt Lake have topped 690 points on the 72-arrow 70-metre ranking round in their careers, three of them Korean – world record holder Kim Woojin, Im Dong Hyun and Oh Jin Hyek – and one the USA’s Brady Ellison.

The only one of the five to shoot 690 (on the nose) in 2017, in major competition, is Chinese Taipei’s Wei Chun-Heng.

7. Bold predictions

Brady Ellison takes gold. After losing out to Valladont in the final in Antalya, and seeding first at stage two, it’s obvious Brady has the form. The four-time Hyundai Archery World Cup Champion consistently comes up big when it matters. A stage on home soil in the US – broadcast on national network NBC – is the stage Ellison needs.

Spanish compound mixed team medal. Just a week after recurve pair Alicia Marin and Pablo Acha won stage bronze and the mixed team event was added to the Olympic Programme for Tokyo, Spain’s compounds – Alberto Blazquez and Andrea Marcos – are a hot pick for the podium. They’re the perfect pairing: Two solid shooters that, if things work, could scythe the brackets.

(Interesting, too, that Spain has only sent two mixed teams, one archer from each division, to Salt Lake.)

8. Location

Salt Lake City is known as the crossroads of the west, due to the meeting of major rail and highway systems in the region. It’s also the home of Hoyt and Easton, two of archery’s major manufacturers, and where 1988 Olympic Champion Jay Barrs lives.

Stage three of the international tour is being held at the city’s Easton Centre, a purpose-built archery training and competition venue that opened in April 2014.

9. 48 stops

Italy’s Sergio Pagni – a two-time winner of the tour – has competed at a total of 48 Hyundai Archery World Cup stages and Finals over its 12-year existence, the most of anyone on the field in Salt Lake.

Right behind him:

10. Home advantage?

Normally this last spot in the list is reserved for the medallists from the stage the previous year, but – since this is the first time Salt Lake is a host – that’ll have to wait.

Odgen, which is about 45 minutes away, last hosted a stage of the circuit in 2012, when the USA took gold medals in the compound men’s, compound women’s, recurve and compound men’s team, and mixed team events. Will the home squad enjoy the same results in Salt Lake City?

The third stage of the 2017 Hyundai Archery World Cup runs 20 to 25 June in Salt Lake City, US