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BELEK-ANTALYA, Turkey - Jesse Broadwater (Jennerstown, Pa.), known for his humble attitude and gentle mannerisms, was perhaps considered a dark horse in today's qualifications at the World Archery Championships. Broadwater hasn't qualified for a World Cup team since 2011, and is often overshadowed by top world ranked teammates Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho) and Braden Gellenthien (College Station, Texas). Nonetheless, Broadwater today showed the same mettle that put him on this world-class World Championships team in the first place, delivering a showstopping 713/720, just seven points off perfect to qualify number one.
Together, the trio of Broadwater, Wilde and Gellenthien qualified first in the men's compound team event, with all three archers finishing in the top eight - Wilde hitting a 709 for 4th, and Gellenthien shooting 707 to finish 8th. Other top finishers included Great Britain's Adam Ravenscroft, second with 710, and Sergio Pagni, Italy's heavy hitter, with a 709. Look for very tight competition in a very difficult field of compound men as matchplay begins.
On the women's side, Team USA's Erika Jones (Grand Island, Neb.) had a strong performance, shooting a 684 to qualify 8th in an equally talented field of compound women. Jones, who has dominated her category in a year that included a new world record, a top world ranking and several World Cup medals, is absolutely in the hunt for the World Championship title this week.
Jones' toughest opposition will likely come from top qualifiers Albina Loginova (RUS), Seok Ji Hyun (KOR) and Sara Lopez (COL), who posted scores of 692, 690 and 688, respectively. All three, as well as Colombia's Alejandra Usquiano, will fight hard for podium spots. Also look for U.S. teammates Carli Cochran (Willow Street, Pa.) and Gabrielle Cyr (Falmouth, Maine) to make a splash in match play; they qualified 23rd and 58th, respectively, with scores of 677 and 657 today. Together, the U.S. team qualified 7th.
The U.S. recurve women also made their World Archery Championships debut today, and the Americans have sent their A-team: the 2012 Olympic Team of five-time Olympian Khatuna Lorig (West Hollywood, Calif.), three-time Olympian Jennifer Hardy (College Station, Texas) and Olympian Miranda Leek (College Station, Texas) will try to deliver standout performances in a very competitive category this week.
Lorig was the top U.S. qualifier, shot a strong 1340 to qualify 14th. Leek, finishing 38th today, shot a 1313, while Hardy posted a 1307 to end the day in 44th. Together, the team is currently ranked 10th. The recurve women's category - historically one of the most competitive given dominant performances by Korea, China, Mexico and Chinese Taipei - also saw strong performances today by Germany, Japan and Russia.
Look for Olympic champion Ki Bo Bae (KOR), Chinese Taipei's Tan Ya-Ting, and Korea's Chang Hye Jin to fight for hardware this week; they're off to a strong start, securing top qualification spots today with scores of 1376, 1371 and 1369. Also making a run at the gold will be Mexico's Aida Roman and Korea's Yun Ok Hee, the latter of whom was the season's most consistent archer.
Tomorrow, the U.S. recurve men's team of Brady Ellison (Chula Vista, Calif.), Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Fla.) and Joe Fanchin (Oceanside, Calif.) take to the field to hopefully solidify their own position for world championship medals. Follow the action with live scores beginning at 2 a.m. Eastern U.S. time: http://www.worldarchery.org/en-us/worldchampionships/outdoorbelekantalya2013/livescores.aspx. Join the conversation about the World Archery Championships online by hashtagging #WAC2013 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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