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Archery World Cup 2024 Shanghai Stage 1: Five players to watch out for

Published at :April 24, 2024 at 12:46 AM
Modified at :April 24, 2024 at 12:46 AM
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Deepika Kumari is the lone Indian on the list.

More than 300 athletes are competing in the first stage of the Hyundai Archery World Cup 2024 in Shanghai (China) next week.

Among them? Both defending circuit champions in the compound categories, Sara Lopez and Mathias Fullerton, the surprising rookie Korean recurve women’s squad for the season, plus plenty of archers looking to make a mark early in this Olympic year.

Scroll on for five names, in particular, that are worth watching:

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1. Mathias Fullerton

Who? The reigning compound men’s circuit champion from Denmark.

Why? Fullerton’s breakout result came at last year’s Hyundai Archery World Cup Final in Hermosillo, where he drilled his tiebreak arrow in the compound men’s title bout to finally top the podium at a major international. He’s kept the level through the indoor season, adding a win in Vegas and there’s no reason to think he won’t maintain a spot leading the field over 50m too.

Mathias has never podiumed at a stage of the tour individually.

2. Matias Grande

Who? The new recurve men’s Pan-American champion from Mexico.

Why? Over the last six months, Mathias has gone from underdog at the Hyundai Archery World Cup Final (as host nation invite) to runner-up at the Pan-American Games to reigning Pan-American champion, crowned less than a week ago in Medellin. As Mexico embraces its youth movement and looks to return to the podium at the Olympics, having a strong male athlete to pair with Alejandra Valencia in the mixed team event will be vital. Matias needs to prove his worth outside of the American continent.

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3. Casey Kaufhold

Who? The current recurve women’s World No. 1 from the US.

Why? Casey’s top spot in the Sanlida World Archery Rankings is justified. The 20-year-old picked up her first stage win on the international tour at Stage 4 in 2023 and just won the Pan-American Championships in Medellin. But, she’s here for Olympic glory, make no mistake. The US hasn’t had a recurve woman this competitive since the country was dominating in the 1970s.

Only a second World Cup stage win would make Casey the most successful US recurve woman in the tour’s 18-year history.

4. Deepika Kumari

Who? The Indian superstar returning to the recurve women’s team.

Why? After taking a year off to care for her new daughter, Kumari returns to an Indian team in desperate need of leadership – and results – in the lead up to the Olympics. The women don’t have a single quota place… yet. Deepika could always deliver medals. More important, right now, is that she leads this lineup to competitive relevance.

In 2021, Kumari, Komalika Bari and Ankita Bhakat combined for two stage wins. Since that lineup: None. The band is back together in 2024.

5. Kim Woo-jin

Who? The three-time recurve men’s World Archery champion from Korea.

Why? After Oh Jin-hyek’s retirement, Kim Woo-jin is now the undisputed leader of the Korean recurve men’s team. The man with the magical glasses has won everything – except individual Olympic gold. This year could be his last dance. Which Woo-jin are we getting for it? The excellent… or the exceptional?

The team comes first. But, Woo-jin stated that he wanted individual gold at Paris 2024 during the press conference revealing the Korean team for this season, which took place in Jincheon last week.

Note: It was first published on the World Archery website

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