Great archers live throughout the world and compete in archery’s many exciting disciplines. Whether you’re an archery neophyte or experienced pro, it’s exhilarating and educational to watch the sport’s greats compete. By studying archery’s greatest shooters, you can learn good form and different tournament formats.
Though just 21, Sara Lopez has cemented her position as target archery’s most dominant female compound shooter. She has been ranked No. 1 in the world longer than anyone in the World Cup era. In 2016 she won seven World Cup medals, six of them gold. At the World Archery Championships in 2015, Lopez shot the highest ranking-round score by a man or woman. In fact, she does all this while attending medical school back home in Colombia. Archery fans expect greatness in 2017, and eagerly await Lopez’s next feat. Watch for her in the World Archery World Cup and World Archery Championships in Mexico City, Oct. 15-22.
Brady Ellison is more than just Leonardo DiCaprio’s doppelganger. In 2016 Ellison competed in his third Olympic Games, and won two medals for the United States. To start 2017’s archery season, Ellison broke the indoor world record with a 598 out of 600. He then broke that record with a 599 out of 600. Ellison also posted a perfect 600, shot during practice, on his social media, so he might just break his world record a third time. Ellison is looking for a win this year at the World Archery Championships.
Nathan Brooks is a professional 3-D archer who ended 2016 in incredible fashion. He won both major 3-D circuit championships, the ASA Classic championship and the IBO World championship. Let’s see if Brooks continues his championship success in 2017.
Cara Kelly is a professional 3-D archer and bowhunter. She started competing at age 5, and has racked up 14 world championships. She finished second in 2016 in the ASA Shooter of the Year standings, and second at the IBO World Championships. She will hit the ASA and IBO tournament trails in 2017, looking to win her 15th world championship title.
Crystal Gauvin is ranked No. 2 in the world for compound archery, but switched to Olympic recurve at the end of 2016. Converting from compound to recurve isn’t easy, even for accomplished archers. Gauvin continues making great strides in her shooting, and documented her transition from compound to recurve on social media and her blog.
Mackenzie Brown represented the United States in 2016 during her first Olympic Games. She is No. 16 in the World Archery rankings, and No. 1 in the country. The Texas native will compete in the World Archery World Cup circuit and at USA Archery events in 2017.
John Demmer III
John Demmer is a barebow archer known for fashion (evidence above) and winning. In 2016 he broke the USA Archery indoor record to add to his collection of national records, and helped his USA teammates win the Field Archery World Championship. He started 2017 with big wins at two important indoor tournaments, the Lancaster Classic and the Vegas Shoot. Demmer will compete this year in indoor tournaments, 3-D archery, target archery and field archery.
Stephan Hansen is one of the best young shooters in compound target archery. He won the 2015 World Championships in his home country, Denmark. Since then he has reached the podium regularly on the World Cup circuit. He started 2017 with a victory at the Indoor World Cup Stage 2 in Nimes, France. Hansen finished second in the Men’s Championship Open Division at The Vegas Shoot and World Archery World Cup circuit and at the World Archery Championships.
Kim Woo-Jin proclaimed he would beat fellow South Korean Im Dong-Hyun’s ranking-round world record at the 2016 Olympics. The ranking round is a preliminary 72-arrow competition that seeds the archers for match play. Woo-Jin made good on his boast, beating the 72-arrow ranking-round record with an unbelievable score of 700 points. The World Archery Championships are held every two years. The last World Archery Championships took place in 2015, which Woo-Jin won. Therefore, he will try to add to his trophy case with another World Archery Championship medal this year.
Obviously, a big year awaits, with 2017 featuring World Cup events, a World Archery Championship, 3-D Archery World Championships, and plenty of national events where fans can watch their favorite archers. Stay tuned to USA Archery, World Archery, BowJunky, arcHER and social media for archery tournament coverage.
Want to shoot like a pro? Visit an archery shop to gear up. Find your local archery shop here.