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WUXI, China - At the world's largest and most exclusive showcase of youth archery talent, Team USA is putting up a strong performance and is poised to bring home some hardware. With two new world records, the US is stacking the deck for wins in eight medal matches.
Sonia Taniguchi (Chula Vista, Calif.) won a semifinal shoot-off with Maja Orlic (COL) to compete for compound cadet gold against No.1 seed and tournament standout, Alexandra Savenkova (RUS). Teammate, Danielle Reynolds (Gilbert, Ariz.) will fight for bronze. The two, with defending triple champion, Emily Fischer (Corpus Christi, Tex.) will shoot for team gold.
The junior compound ladies also faced tough matches and persevered. The trio will also compete for team gold. Individually, Paige Pearce (Red Bluff, Calif.), in her fifth world championship event, climbed the rankings from her 11th place seed to shoot for bronze against the US's Kailey Johnston (Dublin, Ga.). Johnston's only loss of the day was by a single point deficit in her semifinal match up against world ranked No.3, Sara Lopez (COL).
The junior compound men, all ranked in the top 5, all faced early upsets. Bridger Deaton (Pella, Iowa) was poised for big wins this weekend. However, a 148-147 quarterfinal match stopped him from advancing. In the 1/8th, No.1 seed, Alex Wifler (Chicago, Ill.). fell short when paired with dark horse, Rajat Chauhan (IND), who climbed from his 17th seed to shoot for gold in the final. Jack Salmon (AUS) also upset No.5 seed Danny Button.
The junior compound men, with a decimation of the previous world team qualification record, apparently were not rattled by this mornings upsets. They entered team eliminations more determined to win, and after defeating Russia in the quarterfinals, started off their semifinal match with a perfect 60. Dropping only two arrows from the ten ring, the untouchable three broke another world record with their 238-231 victory making the books. 2011 bronze winner in this category, the US has a chance to regain the world title, and the odds look to be in our favor.
Wifler will compete alongside Johnston for mixed team gold. Johnston has a busy finals day ahead, competing in all three possible matches, two for team golds and the individual bronze.
The cadet compound men, seeded No. 3, narrowly defeated India in the quarterfinals to earn their spot in the semis. Two arrows in the red rings in the second set sealed the US's place in the bronze match against Canada.
Following the junior compound men, the cadets faced early individual eliminations as well. No.4 seed, Chris Bee (Hartland, Mich.) had a shocking upset by a single point in his final set in the 1/16th. Tyson Walker Pruitte (Hamlet, N.C.) also bowed out in the 1/16th with only two arrows in the target during the first set. In the 1/24th Justin Dixon (Yoakum, Tex.) was upset by one point.
Competition resumes tomorrow with recurve team elimination matches through the semifinals. Check back for our story and promise of more US wins and medals. Visit USA Archery on Facebook and twitter for updates and photos from the field. For live scores and detailed score reports for each archer, visit http://www.worldarchery.org/en-us/worldchampionships/youth-wuxi2013/livescores.aspx.
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