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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - U.S. archers eyeing the 2016 Games are gaining a feel of what's in store for them less than a year from now, competing this week among the best in the world at the Aquece Rio International Archery Challenge at the Sambodromo.
The Olympic Test Events give top athletes a chance to see how they match up against the competition they are likely to face next year, and see where they need to step up their games. With tight scores across the field in qualification today, the U.S. archers proved they are strong, but still have work ahead on the Road to Rio.
The U.S. women, who have yet to qualify a full squad for the Games, will have another shot next summer and showed that they deserve to make the cut. After training hard and competing more since the World Archery Championships in Copenhagen, the team finished qualification today 6th with scores ranking among historic competitors-just behind Mexico and China, and ahead of Japan.
Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas), just 20 years old, has been on fire since her gold medal finish in Wroclaw, Poland last month. Having a stellar competition year, Brown led the U.S. women today with a 10th place qualification score of 657.
Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, California), who is hoping to make her 6th Olympic Games next summer, finished 19th with 649.
LaNola Pritchard (Lehi, Utah), also in her most impressive competition year yet, has been making a splash on the international scene this summer and qualified 36th with 628.
The Korean women who have long been on top of the Olympic archery podiums finished qualification first, second and third, not to be messed with.
The men's field similarly saw all three competitors from Korea finish amongst the top, but an unsigned score card dropped Olympic Champion Oh Jin Hyek down to last place and the team out of the running for this event although teammate Kim Woojin finished first with 690.
For the U.S. men, 19-year old Collin Klimitchek (Victoria, Texas), who is definitely having his breakout year internationally with multiple podium finishes, qualified 14th with 663.
Teammates and Olympic silver medalists from 2012 Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Florida) and Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) finished 24th and 28th with 657 and 656. Together, the team finished 7th. The scores on the field were highly competitive and promise much excitement to come in preparation for next summer.
Competition continues over the next three days with early elimination matches. Complete results throughout the event can be found here. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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