Underdog Su Hsin-Yu shatters the Dutch archer’s dream of defending the title; Schloesser couple misses the chance for a joint defense

In the 2023 Indoor World Series 250 – Taipei Archery Open, the Chinese Taipei women archers outshone their men counterparts, claiming all four spots in the women’s recurve bow category. Su Hsin-Yu, in particular, triumphed over three international opponents, including last year’s gold medalist from the Netherlands, Gaby Schloesser. Tomorrow, she is set to compete against Lei Chien-Ying for her inaugural individual international gold medal.

In yesterday’s qualification rounds, Su Hsin-Yu’s performance fell short, resulting in her entry into the elimination rounds as the 21st seed. However, on the 9th, she made a strong comeback by defeating Melanie Gaubil from France with a score of 7:3 in the first match of the 32nd round. Building on this momentum, she faced Gaby Schloesser in the next round, achieving a remarkable 6:4 victory in three sets and causing an upset by eliminating the Dutch archer who aimed to defend her title.

First-time participant Su Hsin-Yu as the underdog, eliminating the defending champion.

“Upon hearing that my next match would be against Gaby, I felt extremely nervous, thinking, ‘Oh no, it’s only the second match, why is it so challenging already?'” Su Hsin-Yu laughed as she recalled the moment. She mentioned that although she had encountered Gaby on the field before, they had never competed against each other. Constant praise from others about Gaby’s skills made Su Hsin-Yu anxious, causing her to unintentionally tremble. However, she managed to relax and face the challenge with a more carefree attitude, and to her surprise, she emerged victorious. “I didn’t expect to win; I was a bit excited,” she added.

Su Hsin-Yu is on the verge of reaching the gold medal match in her first indoor competition, while her opponent, Lei Chien-Ying, is competing at 18 meters for the first time in a decade. In today’s matches, Lei Chien-Ying had a relatively easy time in the Round of 32 against a Filipino opponent. However, her subsequent three matches against Liu Shilin, Kuo Tzu Ying, and Chiu Yi-Ching posed challenges. In the Round of 16 and the quarterfinals, she had to go to additional rounds to secure advancement. Lei Chien-Ying expressed her desire to showcase better performances, acknowledging that being overly eager for perfection might cause her focus to waver.

Lei Chien-Ying survived two additional rounds of shoot-offs to advance to the gold medal match.

Lei Chien-Ying admitted that it has been a long time since she participated in indoor competitions, and the most significant lesson she learned is to maintain emotional stability. Due to the shorter distance, she realized that rushing her movements led to impatience. In today’s matches, she struggled to find a good rhythm, shooting quickly in the early rounds but finishing with a trailing performance. Lei Chien-Ying expressed dissatisfaction with this aspect, stating that if she participates again in the future, she hopes to improve in this area and maintain the relaxed approach she demonstrated earlier.

Lei Chien-Ying also mentioned that she hadn’t registered for the event last year, as she believed there were too many competitions and wanted some rest. This year, despite initially lacking the motivation, she decided to participate after hearing discussions about the tournament around her. Evaluating that all her competitions for the year had concluded, she made the decision just two weeks before the deadline. Lei Chien-Ying shared that this marked her third indoor competition in her career, with the previous two taking place during high school and college. Reflecting on the advancements in technology and equipment, she noted an overall improvement in the skill level of participants, resulting in smaller score differentials and more captivating competitions.

Mike Schloesser once again delivered a flawless performance with 60 arrows in the elimination round, not missing a single point.

In the men’s compound division, Dutch archer Mike Schloesser showcased his individual prowess once again. As the top seed, he achieved a perfect performance in today’s four matches, completing all 20 rounds with full points. He consistently hit the 10-point circle with all 60 arrows. Mike expressed confidence in his performance, stating, “I felt very confident today, and I shot well.” Interestingly, during the competition, he even used a telescope to sneak a peek at his wife Gaby Schloesser’s match. Unfortunately, Gaby was eliminated early this year, preventing them from defending their titles together. Mike emphasized that he remained focused on his own competition despite the side glance at his wife’s performance.

Mike Schloesser will compete for the gold against the 19-year-old Indian archer, Prathamesh Samadhan Jawkar. Although they faced off earlier this year in the May World Cup in Shanghai, with Schloesser experiencing defeat, he is currently in peak form, having not dropped a single point in the past two days. Schloesser confidently stated, “Wait and see, tomorrow I will showcase my best technique, and it will be a good match.”

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