Tysrempilova says winning Antalya a must after Moscow announced as venue for final

23 May 2019
Antalya, Turkey
The Russian capital of Moscow will host the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final this year.

Sayana Tsyrempilova powered through the eliminations to make the first individual final of her career at the third stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya.

She improved phase by phase, beating compatriot and second seed Elena Osipova in the quarterfinals and Alejandra Valencia of Mexico in their semifinal with sets of 29, 29, 29, and 28 points. 

“How does it feel? Awesome. It feels awesome,” said Sayana. “I have to win. I have to secure a finals ticket for Moscow.” 

Only a few days ago, it was announced that the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup Final would be held in the Russian capital at the start of September.

“I have to make sure the Russian anthem will play there,” said Sayana.

Russia receives a spot in each category at the season-ending event as the host nation and can qualify a second place with a stage winner or on circuit ranking.

It has been a year of steady improvement for 26-year-old Sayana, who won the European Indoor Championships in Samsun in the winter and hit a career-high – 661 points – qualification score at the European Grand Prix in Bucharest, Romania.

“What has changed? Nothing’s really changed. Just practice, practice. That’s all,” she said.

Tsyrempilova faces China’s Zheng Yichai in the recurve women’s final. The winner of the Asia Cup stage in Bangkok in March took out Tan Ya-Ting in the semifinals.

Ya-Ting and Alejandra Valencia of Mexico will shoot for bronze. It is Valencia’s first individual medal match on the international circuit since Berlin in 2017.

Sayana follows in the footsteps of her teammate Ksenia Perova, who won this stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup for the last two seasons but lost in the quarterfinals  this year.

Russian compound woman Viktoria Balzhanova also made a good run at the Antalya title. She knocked out top-seeded Croatian junior Amanda Mlinaric but lost her semifinal against Alexis Ruiz.

“They were all difficult matches today,” said Ruiz. “I won every one by one point. So the last end every time I knew I had to make my best arrows.”

The 19-year-old has made quite an impact on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit this season, collecting six medals across the first two events – including a pair of individual bronze medals.

“Last year was a really good year for me too, but this year was the first time I’d shot the ranking system to get on the World Cup team,” said Alexis. “I was ranked number one in the US last year. I’m shooting like I always do. It’s just that this is the first year you’ve seen me.”

The US archer will face Danelle Wentzel, a South African archer who has a shot at her first individual medal on the Hyundai Archery World Cup circuit.

Wentzel is perhaps best known for setting a new world record for the 60-metre distance (36 arrows) during the South African national championships in 2018. She has international experience dating back to 2012.

“My first match was definitely the most difficult because my nerves were so high,” she said. Wentzel needed a shoot-off to beat Great Britain’s Ella Gibson then shot three 147-point matches to make the final.

“After I got through that, I just said, ‘calm down, eh, it’s not that difficult, you’ve been doing this for years!’ It’s a great feeling. I wish I could have it all the time.“

Compound finals take place on Saturday 25 May and recurve finals on Sunday 26 May in Antalya.

The third stage of the 2019 Hyundai Archery World Cup takes place on 20-26 May in Antalya, Turkey.