The world’s best outdoor target archers will descend on Yankton, South Dakota, in September for a pair of events: the 2021 World Archery Championships and the 2021 World Cup Final. Though they will be held back to back at the same venue, these are separate tournaments, with the World Cup Final being like the NFL playoffs and Super Bowl for Olympic recurve and compound archers.
The two World Archery tournaments will take place at the NFAA Easton Yankton Archery Center in Yankton, South Dakota. The center is a 100-acre complex featuring both indoor and outdoor archery ranges, among other facilities and amenities.
The World Archery Championships will run Sept. 19-26.
The Hyundai World Cup Final will be contested Sept. 29-30. This is the first time ever this competition is being held in the United States.
The World Archery Championships is a typical outdoor target archery tournament. Archers will shoot a qualifying round of 72 arrows with compound or Olympic recurve bows. Compound archers will shoot at 50 meters, while recurve archers will shoot at 70 meters.
After the qualifying round, archers will be ranked by gender and equipment. Those rankings are used to establish three competition brackets: for individuals, for teams of three same-gender archers and for mixed teams featuring one male and one female archer.
The highest-ranked individual or team shoots against the lowest-ranked individual or team, and so on down through the rankings until all competitors are assigned matches.
Compound matches consist of five ends shot for cumulative scores. The highest score wins. Individuals shoot three arrows per end. Teams shoot six arrows, and mixed teams shoot four arrows.
Recurve matches consist of a maximum of five ends, but cumulative scoring does not apply. Each end won earns the archer or team two points; ties earn one point apiece. Recurve archers and teams shoot the same number of arrows per end as compound, and the first one to earn six points wins.
The championships end with two medal matches per event to produce gold, silver and bronze medal winners.
Whom can we expect to see in the championships?
In Women’s Recurve, Tokyo Olympics triple gold-medal winner An San from Korea is registered, as is silver medalist Elena Osipova.
The U.S. will have Olympians Mackenzie Brown and Casey Kaufhold on the field, in addition to Gabrielle Sasai.
In Men’s Recurve, watch Olympic gold and silver medalists Mete Gazoz of Turkey and Mauro Nespoli of Italy, along with current World Archery top-ranked archer, Brady Ellison, of the U.S. All three Korean men who took Olympic gold in the team event — Kim Je-deok, Kim Woo-jin and Oh Jin-hyek — will be shooting as well.
In Men’s Compound, World Archery’s No. 1 ranked archer Mike Schloesser, of the Netherlands; and No. 2 Braden Gellenthien and No. 3 Kris Schaff, both of the U.S., are expected to shoot in Yankton.
In Women’s Compound, Tanja Gellenthien of Denmark and Natalia Avdeeva of Russia, world Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, both will be in Yankton. Also on the field will be the two top-ranked Americans, Paige Pearce and Alexis Ruiz.
WORLD CUP FINAL
This is World Archery’s big finale of the year. Invited are the top 32 archers from across the globe in men’s and women’s recurve and compound — eight archers per gender and bow type.
The World Cup finalists earned their spots either by winning their events in one of the three World Cup stages of 2021, or by earning the most points without winning a stage.
Also invited were the two individual Olympic gold medalists in Gazoz and San, and three Americans, since the United States is the host country. Those archers are Jack Williams in Men’s Recurve, Casey Kaufhold in Women’s Recurve and Savannah Vanderwier in Women’s Compound.
The eight archers in each division will shoot individual matches against one another in an unranked bracket spanning Sept.. 29 and 30.
The fields will be whittled down until there are four archers left to shoot for gold, silver and bronze medals.
The gold-medal match in each division is the Super Bowl of archery, since World Cup Final Champion is one of the most coveted titles in the game.
Besides the archers already mentioned, the field also includes Schloesser and Braden Gellenthien in Men’s Compound, Ellison and Nespoli in Men’s Recurve, world No. 1 Deepika Kumari of India, and Osipova in Women’s Recurve and Tanja Gellenthien and Avdeeva in Women’s Compound.
In addition to those Americans already mentioned, other U.S. archers slated to compete in the World Cup Finals are Mackenzie Brown in Women’s Recurve, Kris Schaff in Men’s Compound and Paige Pearce in Women’s Compound.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION
A television schedule for the World Championships and World Cup Final has not yet been set. NBC’s Olympic Channel typically airs at least some of these events. World Archery’s social media channels — Facebook and YouTube — are other likely places to find video coverage.
You can follow all the shooting by scores through Ianseo.net. World Archery uses this site to broadcast scoring at its competitions in nearly real time (there is some lag behind actual real time).
World Archery also will provide summaries of each day’s competition on its website, worldarchery.sport.