Chinese Taipei women’s team win first-ever recurve world champion title

16 June 2019
’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands
It came in a dramatic victory over world number one Korea in ’s-Hertogenbosch.

Lei Chien-Ying, Tan Ya-Ting and Peng Chia-Mao won Chinese Taipei its first ever recurve title at the Hyundai World Archery Championships by beating long-time rival Korea, 6-2, in the women’s team event in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.

“We worked very hard for a long time for this match and it was hard. We had to concentrate and exchange information especially on the wind as it was tricky,” said Lei. “We did the best we could, and we are now very happy.”

Kang Chae Young, Choi Misun and Chang Hye Jin of Korea seeded first in qualification and arrived in the finals field as favourites – but Taipei’s women wanted more than silver.

Lei, Tan and Peng won the first two sets with scores of 56 points. Korea opened with 53 and follow that up with 52.

Top-ranked Korea battled back in the third set with a 58 to take the score to 4-2. The Korean women then finished with a 54. Peng stepped on the line needing a nine to take the match for Chinese Taipei. She landed a 10.

“I just focused on the point I wanted to shoot, then I tried to think about my strength and shooting sequence, felt very confident about my arrow and then indeed got the shot,” said Peng.

The Chinese Taipei team was exceptionally vocal throughout the match. Breaks between sets were filled with chatter and the final ‘hurray’ as the three women touched hands, cheered and turned to face the target.

“We tried to focus on ourselves, we talked a lot among us about how to prepare, the wind and we tried to forget about Korea. Challenging ourselves helped us to hold out the game until the last moment,” explained Tan.

Korea had won the recurve women’s world title 13 of the previous 20 times it had been contested and was unbeaten in 2019.

“This is the first silver medal that we get this year and, of course, it’s disappointing because this is the main competition of the season. It was important for our team and we didn’t win it,” said Kang.

Choi said they started with too many bad arrows, too many eights.

“We knew we needed to shoot better arrows to win, so we tried to understand what was going on, but it was probably too late by the time we figured it out,” she added.

Great Britain’s Sarah Bettles, Naomi Folkard and Bryony Pitman upset China to recurve women’s team bronze, winning a shoot-off with a better 27 points.

The British women had a four-set-point lead. They let that go over the back half and the match needed a tiebreaker. China landed a trio of nines; Great Britain an eight, nine and a 10 to take the win.

“This just finishes off the week. We came here hoping to get a medal and that’s what we’ve been done. It’s the cherry on top,” said Bettles.

Chinese Taipei, Korea, China and Great Britain qualified full women’s team quota places to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at these championships, along with Belarus, Germany, Russia and Ukraine.

The 2019 Hyundai World Archery Championships take place on 10-16 June in ’s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands.