The 2014 season is past the summer break and about to get into high gear.
The final stage of the World Cup circuit takes place in Poland this week, and most Western nations are representing at the event with recurve, compound, or both categories.
But, the 2nd Asian Grand Prix begins during the finals for the event in Poland, and that is an important event for nations preparing for the Asian Games in Korea later this season- so a number of top Asian archery powerhouse nations- including Japan, Korea, and host nation Chinese Taipei – are forgoing Poland to attend the Grand Prix in Taipei city. Somewhat surprisingly, though, in what seems to be a last-minute change of plans, China has decided to send their recurve A-team to Poland instead of to the Grand Prix in Taiwan.
For the world cup finals, the absence of Korea and Japan in the Poland event means a number of lower-ranked shooters may now have a better shot at the Grand Final in Switzerland in September. Korea’s OH, Jin-hyek, and Netherlands shooter Rick van der Ven are the only recurve men locked for the final. For the compounds, Reo Wilde, Sebastien Peineau, and Peter Elzinga are locked in, while USA compound shooter Erika Jones has her ticket to the finals. For recurve women, Korea’s JUNG Dasomi is locked. But the field is wide open for the rest of the 7 slots in each category (host country Switzerland will have a slot, automatically, in each category)
Global power shift in compound?
Compound is in the Asian Games for the first time, which prompted the Korean team to leverage their deep talent for the new-to-them compound category starting around three years ago- and that has generated stunning results starting last year.
With the 2nd stage of the Asian Grand Prix getting started at the end of this week, Korea is expected to continue their steamroller approach to the compound category- one which netted their first ever men’s compound gold, at the world cup stage in Turkey in June, and women’s gold in the first stage this season, in Shanghai, after notable women’s team success last season.
The effort to bring compound to the Asian Games, and Korea’s focus on the category, has had an unforeseen effect however- with the total domination by Korea’s compounders in Asia, China has reportedly decided not to enter a compound team- and Japan is only sending one shooter, Yumiko Honda, a past Vegas and World Cup medalist, for the Asian Games.
Team Easton will be at both the World Cup 4th stage and at the Asian Grand Prix, so check back for updates this and next week as the events unfold.