The world’s best archers are coming to Salt Lake City, Utah, June 20-25, to compete in the Hyundai Archery World Cup, the third of four World Cup stages. This is a special opportunity to see the best of the best compete in the USA.
More than 300 athletes from 41 countries will compete at the state-of-the-art Easton Salt Lake Archery Center, a dedicated archery facility with indoor, outdoor, 3-D and field archery ranges. When it’s not being used to host world-class archery tournaments, the Easton Salt Lake Archery Center is open to the public for archery lessons and practice.
World Cup tournaments follow a bracket-style format that creates thrilling matches. Every arrow is critical as elite archers battle in head-to-head matches. This is the same format used in the Olympics.
The tournament is open to the public, so if you’re near Salt Lake City you can watch the action in-person. You can also attend Archery Fest, an event where novices can try archery and learn about this exciting sport.
The Hyundai Archery World Cup features recurve and compound bow competitions. Men’s and women’s categories exist for each equipment style. Male and female archers shoot from the same distance: 70 meters for recurve and 50 meters for compound. To put the distance in perspective, 70 meters is equal to three-quarter the distance of a football field, and 50 meters is just over half the distance of football field.
The ten-ring is the highest scoring ring for compound and recurve archers. The recurve ten-ring is 4.8 inches in diameter, which is smaller than an iPhone. Compound archers shoot at a ten ring that’s about three inches in diameter, or about the size of a baseball.
Archers compete individually and as teams. Each team is comprised of the top three archers from each country. In addition to the men’s and women’s team competition, archers battle in a mixed-team competition, which includes the top male and female archer for each equipment style. Both team and individual competitions are head-to-head matches that follow a bracket format.
The tournament starts with a qualification round, during which archers shoot 72 arrows. This preliminary round determines archer rankings for the bracket.
Consider the bracket system like a tennis tournament or March Madness. The top 64 archers in each division compete in single-elimination matches. When the semifinal matches are decided, the archers advance to their respective medal matches.
The match play scoring system is different for recurve and compound archers. Recurve archers use a set system for scoring, and compound archers use a cumulative point system.
Recurve archers shoot three arrows, called an end, and those arrows are scored. The archer with the highest three-arrow score receives two set points, while the opponent receives zero. If the archers tie, they will get one point each. The archer that reaches six set points first is the match winner.
Compound archers also shoot three arrows per end, and they keep a running total for five ends. A perfect score in the compound division is 150 points, which happens on occasion. In case of a tie, the archers go to a single-arrow shoot-off; the arrow closest to the center of the target decides the winner.
How to Watch
If you’re near Salt Lake City, the early matches and qualification rounds are open to the public and free to attend. To attend the final matches, spectators need to purchase a $5 ticket, which are available at the door. Concessions are available at the event, and there is a “Try Me” archery event on site. For more spectator information visit the event website.
Hyundai Archery World Cup Finals Schedule
(All times are in Mountain time.)
Saturday, June 24
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Compound Team Medal Matches
3 p.m.-3:45 p.m. Compound Mixed Team Medal Matches
3:45 p.m.- 5 p.m. Compound Individual Medal Matches
Sunday, June 25
11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Recurve Team Medal Matches
3 p.m.-3:45 p.m. Recurve Mixed Team Medal Matches
3:45 p.m.-5 p.m. Recurve Individual Medal Matches
Who to Watch
The top archers who competed at the most recent Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya will attend the Salt Lake City stage. (You can view results for the Antalya event on the World Archery website and watch the final matches on the NBC website.) Archers who missed the Antalya competition will also be in attendance, most notably the talented Korean recurve team.
Upsets happen in match play, and there’s no telling who will reach the top of the podium. But here are a few archers to look for in the medal matches.
Brady Ellison could sink a small boat with all the World Cup medals he has won. At the Hyundai Archery World Cup Antalya, the American favorite added a silver medal to that collection, which includes an Olympic bronze medal from the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. If you watched the Olympics, you might remember Ellison as Leonardo DiCaprio’s doppelganger.
Ellison is the host-country favorite, but he has a strong rival in Jean Charles Valladont. The French archer recently beat Ellison at the Antalya World Cup. “Brady is kind of my arch-rival,” Valladont said in an interview with World Archery. “We’ve met on many separate occasions: indoors, outdoors, in all formats.”
In the men’s recurve team matches, the Korean archery team is always a gold-medal favorite, but they were beaten by underdog Kazakhstan this year at the first World Cup stage in Shanghai. The American team is also a top contender. With the high level of competition, it’s sure to be a thrilling event.
The American compound team is always a top competitor, but the rise of compound archery in Europe, Asia and South America has tested the Americans. Will the Americans claim gold on their home soil, or will the growing contingent of talented compound archers pull off the upset?
For the men’s individual compound category, Steve Anderson is on fire since winning the World Field Championships in October 2016. Since then, he has earned eight podium finishes, including a silver medal at the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya. Adding to Anderson’s momentum, Salt Lake City is his hometown.
The Korean women’s recurve team is a dominant force in archery, having won eight straight Olympic gold medals. However, if there is a chance for an upset, it’s at a World Cup event where they’ve already lost this season.
The American team had a strong start to the World Cup season with a silver medal in Shanghai. They will have the home-field advantage and are looking for a gold medal in Salt Lake City. They’re a young team that’s full of potential. On that young team is No. 19 in the world, Mackenzie Brown. She is just 22 years old, but has a lot of experience, including competing at the 2016 Olympic Games. Having earned six outdoor World Cup medals, Brown and is definitely one to watch in Salt Lake City.
In the individual matches, Korea’s Ki Bo Bae is a top contender. She is ranked No. 1 in the world and added a gold medal from the World Cup in Shanghai to her impressive trophy case.
Women’s compound is a highly competitive arena with multiple strong teams contending for the top spot. The Columbian team – led by world No. 1 Sara Lopez – could walk away with gold, but the competition will be tough.
The Americans are currently in a yearlong World Cup medal dry spell. But they have historically been a podium regular and are due for a comeback. Denmark is another strong team; they beat Columbia to take the Gold medal at World Cup Antalya.
Sara Lopez has dominated the women’s compound division since entering the international stage in 2013. She has won a combined 25 World Cup medals (team and individual) since 2013, and she has held the No. 1 world ranking for longer than any archer in history. Her one blemish in the past five World Cup stages came at the Hyundai Archery World Cup in Antalya. Her 31-match win streak ended when she lost to Denmark’s Tanja Jensen in the semi-finals.
For one exciting week, the archery world will turn its attention to Salt Lake City and the incredible athletes on the field. Stay tuned to World Archery, USA Archery and Archery 360 social media for updates on the Hyundai Archery World Cup.