All you need to know about the 2019 World Archery Championships
All eyes are on South Korea's archers this week as the 2019 World Archery Championships take place in 's-Hertogenbosch (also known as Den Bosch) in the Netherlands.
The Koreans swept all four events in the sport at Rio 2016, and have won 12 of the last 13 men's recurve individual world titles dating back to 1993.
They are also defending champions in half of the ten events that will be contested in Den Bosch.
This year's World Championships, which take place from 10–16 June, come immediately after the World Archery Para-Championships, which were also held in the Dutch city.
For the first time, more than 600 athletes are expected to participate.
The World Championships also act as qualifiers for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, with the top eight countries in each recurve team event qualifying three archers. Four further individual quota places are also awarded.
Fierce Korean competition
The dominance of the Republic of Korea's archers means there is fierce competition for the spots available to the team in each event.
So much so that the 2017 men's recurve champion, Im Dong-hyun, failed to make the cut after finishing sixth in the Koreans' internal selection tournament and will not be defending his title in 's-Hertogenbosch.
Instead, the three spots have gone to two Rio 2016 team champions, Kim Woo-jin and Lee Seung-yun, as well as current world number one Lee Woo-seok. It is a return to international competition for Lee Seung-yun, who has taken time away and last competed in his national colours at the Olympics.
There is a similar story for the powerhouses in the women's compound, where defending champion Song Yun-soo has not been selected for this tournament.
Meanwhile, Rio women's recurve champion Chang Hye-jin will get the chance to add world gold to her Olympic title after she was named alongside Kang Chae-young and Choi Misun. It is also a comeback to the international scene for Choi, who last represented Korea in 2017.
Hosts push for glory
Perhaps the biggest threat to South Korea, at least in the men's recurve, should come from the hosts Netherlands.
World number two Steve Wijler, bronze medallist two years ago in Mexico City, leads a strong Dutch team that includes Rio 2016 semi-finalist Sjef van den Berg and London 2012 semi-finalist Rick van der Ven.
Don't count out the United States' world number three (and three-time Olympic medallist) Brady Ellison either, as the 31-year-old aims for his first major outdoor archery title to add to his long list of field archery and indoor archery achievements.
Nemati goes again
Iran's Rio 2016 flagbearer Zahra Nemati, a wheelchair athlete who is a two-time Paralympic champion and competes both in para-archery and archery, is doubling up in Den Bosch.
Having finished fourth in the World Archery Para-Championships, the 34-year-old is competing in her second able-bodied world championships, having made her debut in Copenhagen in 2015.
The first woman to be named Iranian flag-bearer at an Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, Nemati shows no sign of slowing down, and will hope to improve on her first-round elimination in Denmark four years ago.
There, she lost to Russia's Ksenia Perova — the current world champion, who claimed a surprise win over Olympic champ Chang in Mexico City two years ago.
But Perova and Chang are currently "only" world numbers three and four respectively. Chang's teammate Kang, and Chinese Taipei archer Tan Ya-ting, are currently ranked higher and will also threaten the podium.
And ignore world number seven and Olympic silver medallist Lisa Unruh at your peril. As she showed in Rio, she is capable of challenging the best.
Nemati overcomes adversity en route to archery glory
Nemati overcomes adversity en route to archery gloryZahra Nemati is an Iranian Paralympic and Olympic archer whose taekwondo career was cut short after a seroius car accident.
Former Paralympic archer Zahra Nemati carries Iranian flag
Former Paralympic archer Zahra Nemati carries Iranian flagLondon 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Zahra Nemati bears the Iranian flag at the Rio 2016 Opening Ceremony.
Compound archers take the stage
Aside from the World Games, this is compound archery's biggest stage, with the discipline not currently on the Olympic programme.
Frenchman Sebastien Peineau is the defending men's compound champion, but it is the hosts who on paper have the biggest chance of coming away with the title, as Dutchman Mike Schloesser is the current world number one.
And the top-ranked woman, Sara Lopez of Colombia, is aiming to win her first senior individual world title after clinching team gold twice in addition to an individual gold at youth level.
Schedule and ticket information
|Event||2016 Olympic champion||2017 World champion|
|Men's individual||Non-Olympic events||Sebastien Peineau (France)|
|Women's individual||Song Yun-soo (South Korea)|
|Men's team||United States of America|
|Mixed team||Kim Jong-ho/Song Yun-soo (South Korea)|
|Men's individual||Ku Bon-chan (South Korea)||Im Dong-hyun (South Korea)|
|Women's individual||Chang Hye-jin (South Korea)||Ksenia Perova (Russia)|
|Men's team||South Korea||Italy|
|Women's team||South Korea||South Korea|
|Mixed team||Event makes Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020||Im Dong-hyun/Kang Chae-young (South Korea)|
10 June Qualification rounds (men's and women's recurve); elimination rounds (mixed team)
11 June Qualification rounds (men's and women's compound); elimination rounds (individual and team events)
12–13 June Elimination rounds (all events)
14 June Tokyo 2020 Olympics secondary qualification tournament
15 June Finals (individual and team compound)
16 June Finals (individual and team recurve)
Tickets are available from the World Archery Championships website.