Change is in the air for the 2012 World Cup season, with some familiar host sites trying out new competition venues and a major adjustment to the schedule for 2012 going forward.
“With the number of major events in any given year, we felt that the schedule was getting to be a little relentless for both competitors and World Cup staff”. This is one explanation from World Archery Secretary General Tom Dielen for the decision to reduce the number of World Cup stages from four to three, followed, as usual, by a Grand Final in a spectacular setting.
Of course there will be a great deal of effort expended on the London Olympic Games and Paralympics, and this major event combined with an already-tight schedule is another major motivator for the schedule adjustment. The schedule will return to 4 circuit events in 2013.
Out of the picture is Porec, Croatia. The popular, but difficult to reach destination was the opening World Cup event for several seasons running. However, key staff changes in the local organization, combined with the need to reduce the schedule, led to Porec being dropped for 2012.
Springtime in Shanghai
For several years now, the last circuit event for the World Cup has been in Shanghai, China, generally in August- the beginning of typhoon season. As a result, several of the World Cup events held there have experienced severe weather, twice forcing changes to the schedule and finals venues. That may change in 2012, as the Shanghai event will move to first on the calendar, scheduled for the second week of April. World Archery Secretary-General Tom Dielen mentions, “in spite of the weather, Shanghai has produced several world and continental records. The venue next to the river in 2011 was challenging for wind but gave a great view on the city panorama. In 2012 we are expected to be even more in the City center with more protected conditions. Shanghai could be the biggest event of the year since it is at the start of the Season.”
Archers love Antalya
The second World Cup event for the season- two weeks after the conclusion of Shanghai- is once again set in what is arguably the most popular destination on the circuit- the sun-drenched resort city of Antalya Turkey. In the past few years Antalya’s event has been a showcase for archery as influential and powerful International Olympic Committee members have made it a point to visit the finals two years running.
Last Olympic Chance in Ogden
2012 sees competitors return to Ogden, Utah, which will hold the final World Cup circuit event of the season before the Grand Final. A new venue, the Golden Spike Event Center, will host the competition, which takes on a critical role this year- as the last qualifying event for the Olympic Games, Ogden is sure to be number one on the calendar for shooters from countries like Japan and host USA that did not get their full Olympic quota at the 2011 World Championships.
2012 World Cup Grand Final to Tokyo
The World Cup Grand Final always strives for spectacular settings, and 2012 is no exception. Set just a few hundred meters from the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, the 2012 Grand Final of the Archery World Cup in Japan will pit the world’s 32 absolute best archers against each other, and when the battle ends, there will be four winners. One male recurve, one female recurve, one male compound, and one female compound champion.
Best of the best
Japan has a chance to enter as many as two shooters in each category, since the host country is automatically allocated one slot in each category. The remaining positions may be filled through the performance of Japan’s teams in the 2012 World Cup events leading up to London and the Tokyo Grand Final.
In addition, there will be a Mixed Team round, in which the host country can, if it chooses, enter another male and female shooter in each category, potentially giving up to twelve shooters the overall chance to represent Japan in the event- two in each recurve category, two in compound (male and female, eight total) and, if Japan chooses, two additional men and women in each of the mixed recurve and compound competitions.
Yokoso Nihon (Welcome to Japan!)
The World Archery Federation (WA) is excited to bring the prestigious finals to Japan in 2012. WA Secretary General Mr. Tom DIELEN notes that Tokyo beat Paris for the right to hold the 2012 event.
“The competition came down to Paris, Lausanne (Switzerland, home town of the IOC) and Tokyo. We chose Tokyo because of the unique opportunity to put on a major event here for the first time, and while the world’s attention was piqued by the Olympic Games. In addition we are excited by the vibrant and enthusiastic atmosphere of Tokyo, and also really wanted to take the earliest opportunity to show that world archers stand with Japan, after the tremendous challenges that came to the country in 2011.”
“Except for the World Games field archery competition in Akita (in 2000, under sanction of IWGA); Japan has not hosted a World Archery sanctioned, world level archery event, in modern history. We believe that this event will be very important in promoting archery in the Asia region. In addition, Japan is now always among the top contenders at world events. So this is a great chance for the Japan team to show the progress it has made to its home crowd for the first time. World Archery also sees this as an important opportunity to establish a closer working relationship with Japanese archery – shooters, officials and the infrastructure are all very important to us.”
Heart of Tokyo
The competition venue, in Hibiya Park, is in the very heart of Tokyo- and only a few hundred meters from the sacred grounds of the Imperial Palace of Japan. “With the concentration of potential spectators in and around the competition venue, and the tremendous convenience of attending the event (near many major train stations) we expect tremendous demand for tickets for the Tokyo Finals. I think this will be a beautiful and exciting venue and a great showcase for our sport” said WA’s Events Director, Mr. Juan-Carlos HOLGADO, team Gold Medalist of the 1992 Olympic Games. “We are also working with the national broadcaster, NHK, to bring the event to many more homes throughout Japan and the world” said Holgado, who has been running the World Cup events since their inception in 2006.
The All-Japan Archery federation is handling distribution of tickets and spectator space allocation, and will also be instrumental in selecting the teams representing Japan.
According to Tom Dielen, the World Cup finals generates nearly one hundred million yen in positive economic flow for the Tokyo region, filling more than 500 hotel room nights and bringing not only the top 32 shooters to Japan, but international support staff, family members and many others- making the event a touristic boost for the host as well. Major sponsors include Turkish Airlines, KIA Motors, VakifBank, SporToto, TFORS, Longines, Hoyt, and Easton.
Full details of the event are available from www.archery.org