Even though the competition will be over by the time I get back to the Internet and can post, I’m typing this in the bus on the way to the Meidan, and will cover the final in a later post.
Most of my posts have been more about the atmosphere than the competition. In my defence, the atmosphere and people are for me more important than the competition and are what really makes the event and the sport. I think, however, that it’s time to offer some reflections on the actual competition.
I shall assume a little knowledge of how a Korean event usually goes. This Korean event was different from usual. There was no single shot. The first two runs were a standard double shot. The last two were a standard serial shot on the EOCHA lines, meaning that the first of the 5 targets was only 15m from the start but you could start with an arrow on the string.
The middle two runs were called a triple shot. Perhas unsurprisingly, there were three targets. The first along the track was at about 60m and required a sideways shot. A few metres beyond was one that faced the start line for a forward shot and just beyond that a Mamluk shot (downwards and to the wrong side – photos below). The spacing is such that you have to shoot the second, forward, shot first, then the sideways and the Mamluk. It requires very fast nocking to hit the sideways and the Mamluk.
From a technical point of view, the single shot is by far the easiest part of a Korean event. I personally find it very helpful to settle the nerves with the single before the harder double and serial events. Others find the long run to the single shot a psychological problem.
Suffice it to say that I prefer the traditional Korean event. I know that some will prefer this harder version. Time will tell the outcome, no doubt.
As at EOCHA, bonus points were awarded for hitting all the targets in the serial shot. Tis goes some way towards redressing what I and others feel is an imbalance in favour of speed over shooting accuracy. The debate will run and run, either at a controlled canter or a flat gallop, for some time to come. I personally think that speed is still favoured too much.