Republic of Korea sweep titles at 2021 World Archery Championships in Yankton

Olympic champions Kim Woojin, Jang Minhee and An San helped the Asian country clinch gold in all five recurve events.

By Alessandro Poggi
Picture by 2021 World Archery Federation

A decade on from his first world title in Turin, Italy, Kim Woojin made history by adding a third individual crown to his long list of accolades.

The Korean archer beat former U18 world champion Marcus D'Almeida of Brazil to win gold in the men's recurve final at the 2021 World Archery Championships in Yankton, USA, on Sunday (26 September).

Kim became the third man, and fourth archer in history, to claim three individual world titles after Poland's Janina Kurkowska (five titles between 1933 and 1947), Sweden's Hans Deutgen (four consecutive golds between 1947-1950), and USA's Ric McKinney (1977, 1983 and 1985).

The 29-year-old was also part of the Republic of Korean team that dominated the men's competition, defeating the Americans in straight sets and returning to the top of the podium after two consecutive bronze medals.

He also teamed up with Tokyo 2020 women's gold medallist An San to claim mixed team gold.

With a total of seven titles at the World Championships and two Olympic team golds, Kim is one of the most successful archers in history and the Korean is hungry for more: “I don’t consider myself the best archer in the world, because I’m not retired yet," he told World Archery.

"I’m looking forward to winning more and more. When I retire, then I could be saying I’m the best archer in the world.” - Kim Woojin

On his way to gold, Kim eliminated Olympic champion Mete Gazoz in the semis, with defending champion Brady Ellison eventually taking bronze against the Turkish archer in the small final.

Republic of Korea unbeatable in Yankton

Republic of Korea enjoyed a very successful campaign at the 2021 World Archery championships topping the medal table with a total of seven medals, including five golds in all the recurve events.

22-year-old Jang Minhee became the 11th woman from Korea to claim an individual gold medal after taking care of Casey Kaufhold of the USA in the recurve final.

Olympic champion and favourite An San had to settle for bronze after claiming gold in both the women's team (along with Jang) and mixed team event.

"It’s really meaningful for me, no matter what colour of medal it is," An San told World Archery.

"When I came here my first aim was the team medal, that’s why I’m really satisfied with the result here."

Colombia's Lopez completes compound hat-trick

In the non-Olympic compound events, Colombian Sara Lopez completed a perfect week in Yankton by winning all three gold medals available.

After securing the women's team and mixed team titles, the 26-year-old defeated India's Jyothi Surekha Vennam to take her first individual world crown on her fifth participation at the Worlds.

“It was something on my list and now I can remove it and set new goals,” an emotional Lopez told World Archery.

In the men's final, Austrian Nico Wiener edged out world number one and 2013 world champion Mike Schloesser of The Netherlands 146-143 to claim his first outdoor world title.

Hosts USA finished third in the overall medal table with their only gold coming from the compound men's team final.