For the first time in UC Irvine history a current undergraduate will represent the United States in the World University Championships, a tournament in which the best collegiate archers from around the world compete to bring pride and prestige to their home country.
Edward Kim, a fifth year biological-sciences major and captain of the Archery Club at UC Irvine will represent the United States in the World University Championships as a member of the U.S. men’s recurve team.
In order to earn this spot, Kim competed against top collegiate archers from across the country at the U.S. Collegiate Archery Association World Team Trials in Yankton, South Dakota.
“I want to say that it was very difficult and there were a lot of good shooters,” Kim said referring to his fellow competitors in South Dakota. “There were times in the last match I was in that I won that I thought that I was not going to win, at that point I thought I had already lost and it went to a tie-breaker and I own the tie-breaker.”
With his last win, Kim earned his place on the U.S. collegiate men’s recurve team. Kim will officially represent the U.S. and unofficially UC Irvine as a member of the U.S. men’s recurve team in addition to Matthew Zumbo of Golden West College in California and Matthew Requa from Texas A&M University. All three will compete in team rounds and also in individual rounds during the tournament to compete for world’s best collegiate archer.
“[I am] very excited that he made the team, he has been working hard and training hard and he works a lot and it pays off,” said Gary Holstien, coach of the archery team at UC Irvine and future coach for the U.S. Men’s Recurve team for the Championships.
The World University Championships are held every two years in July and feature teams of collegiate archers who won spots on their country’s team in national competition. This year the tournament will be held in Legnica, a city in southwestern Poland from July second to the fifth.
International tournaments for the U.S. recurve teams have been difficult in the past and present. The U.S. team will face tough competition in Poland from the likes of South Korea (former champions), Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Germany, France, Japan, and other teams that will likely be comprised of former and future Olympians.
The first place team in both categories at the previous Championships in Cordoba, Spain in 2012 was South Korea, second place was Chinese Taipei, and third place went to Poland for men’s recurve teams. In addition Korean archers won gold for individual rounds in men’s and women’s recurve and Korean also took first place in mixed team rounds (one man and one woman). This year however will give the U.S. team a chance to change their fortune and will give some members like Kim their first experience at international level competitions.
The Archery Club at UC Irvine has never sent an archer to the World University Championships in its eight year history.
Kim, who became captain of the team as of spring quarter last year, was only with the team for about a quarter, but had several years of experience under his belt before joining the club. His skill became apparent to the officers of the club quickly made him team captain shortly after he became a member in 2013.
With the challenges ahead, Kim is pleased with what he has accomplished so far and hopes that his example will inspire future anteaters to pursue their passions and work hard in what they love.
“I feel very honored to represent UCI to go to World Teams. I feel I have accomplished my goal for the year as [archery] team captain which was to be a good role model as an archer and as a student and as an athlete and I hope everyone sees that. anyone can be a successful archer or successful athlete or successful student just as long as they are motivated and want to be successful in whatever they do.”