Schloessers top Taipei qualifying as Mike drops first 600 of the year

(World Archery, CHRIS WELLS) Dutch couple Mike and Gaby Schloesser have qualified first in their respective categories at the inaugural Taipei Open, December’s elite points stage of the 2023 Indoor Archery World Series, with the host’s Su Yu-Yang and Chen Yi-Hsuan completing the line-up of top seeds.

Mike, known as Mister Perfect since shooting the first perfect 600-point indoor round in Nimes in 2015, posted the first 600 of the season.

“It was awesome. Shot felt great and it was a really nice and clean 300 in the first half. The way I shot, it was very satisfying,” he said.

The world number one had an enormous 15 points on his nearest challenger during qualifying, Chen Chieh-Lun – one of 19 compound men from Chinese Taipei competing here.

“I know the locals here can shoot very well and compound archery is big here. It’ll be a hard fight tomorrow,” added Mike.

Gaby Schloesser’s lead over the 60-arrow round in the recurve women’s event was equally comfortable. Recent Hyundai Archery World Cup finalist Peng Chia-Mao seeded second with 577 – 13 points down on Gaby’s career-best 590.

“I’m happy for sure. I felt really comfortable,” she said. “It’s nice to see how much people enjoy archery here in Taipei. The staff are really helpful and the shooting hall is awesome.”

Gaby is the current world number eight – and looks set to add to her ranking points this weekend.

This event is the first major tournament on the Indoor Archery World Series to ever take place in Chinese Taipei – and the first large indoor competition to take place there in a decade. (The temperate climate makes outdoors an all-year proposition.)

There’s plenty of quality in the large continent of local archers participating, but with limited 18-metre experience, the adjustment to the short distance hasn’t been easy.

“Most archers here don’t shoot indoors,” said Chen Ting Ni, who’s part of the lead team organising this first Taipei Open.

“After qualification, some archers told us that it was a really different experience but that they’d like to try and attend some other indoor tournaments. It’s great to educate the community here on this other aspect of the sport.”

Before today’s championship category qualifying sessions, nearly 200 youth archers shot their qualification rounds yesterday.

The top scores all came courtesy of archers from Chinese Taipei, with Chang Yi-Chong (578) and Hsu Yu-Han (568) leading the recurve under-21s, and Ho Zi-You (580) and Hsiao Yu-Chieh (569) seeding top in the compound under-21 events.

Competition continues on Sunday at the Taipei Open with eliminations and finals.

Top seeds: 2022 Taipei Open

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