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MEDELLIN, Colombia - Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) won his first individual world cup stage yesterday since his circuit Final win in Lausanne 2014. Following his best indoor season to date, Ellison opened the outdoor season with a new personal best at the first Archery World Cup stage in Shanghai. Shooting the third highest score in world history, Ellison was shockingly upset in the first round of eliminations.
Opening his gold medal final yesterday with a perfect 30 and clinching the win 7-1, Ellison gave definitive proof that he is back on top and looking towards his strongest season ever. It's perfect timing to be in peak form with Rio less than one hundred days out.
"It feels good to be back," Ellison told World Archery. "I have been qualifying very well all year. In China I shot great in the elimination but just got beaten by a guy who shot really well against me. I shot well here. I'm really looking forward to the Games. I'm shooting the best I ever have, shooting scores that haven't been shot in a long time, and it makes me excited."
The compound men's team of Alex Wifler (Crete, Illinois), Steve Anderson (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts) also took gold in Medellin after opening with a perfect end of 60. After overcoming a 7, they took a decisive victory 232-229 over Italy.
"Our team is really strong," Gellenthien commented to World Archery on the ability of the U.S. to sub archers in and out of the team line-up. "It comes from the grassroots back home. We have maybe eight to ten guys that we can send on any weekend and do very well, so it wasn't a big change to have Alex instead of Reo [Wilde] in the box. I felt confident that he would hit the 10 as often as Reo does."
Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) was the fourth man in the U.S. line up in qualification, but he came out on top in the elimination matches, propelling himself into the gold final where he too earned a shot at the win over Italy's Sergio Pagni. Wilde opened with a 27 to Pagni's 29. He came back with a perfect 30 in the second end, which Pagni matched, refusing to open the door for Wilde to pick up a few points. Pagni increased his lead in the third end and clinched the win 146-143 leaving Wilde with silver.
Crystal Gauvin (Dayville, Connecticut) shot her way to the gold finals for both the compound women's individual and team competitions where she faced hometown favorite, Colombia's Sara Lopez and the team from Colombia respectively. Colombia prevailed with a strong team win 229-222 as seven more of their 24 arrows found the ten than those from the U.S. archers.
Gauvin and Lopez's individual gold match was much closer - going to a 146-146 tie and one-arrow shoot off. While both shot 10s, Lopez's was an X and she took the win. If hometown advantage really played a factor, maybe next year will be Gauvin's turn as the World Cup stage leaves Medellin and travels to Salt Lake City, Utah, here in the United States.
Gauvin also teamed up with Wifler in the mixed team bronze final against France. The two teams matched scores arrow for arrow through the first two ends, but in the third, France took a one point lead that they held through the remainder of the match for a 150-149 win.
The 10th seeded recurve women's team had also earned a spot in the bronze final after upsetting India and No. 2 seeded Chinese Taipei. They struggled in the final to match the scores they had shot earlier and were knocked out 6-0 by a strong team from Mexico.
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