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CHULA VISTA, California - At the conclusion of 72 arrows of scoring at the Easton Archery Center of Excellence this morning for the 2016 U.S. Paralympic Team Trials - Archery, second nomination shoot, the top eight archers in each division are still in the running on the road to Rio. The event featured perfect weather and fierce competition.
The compound open men's bracket made hard cuts between archers with close scores. Kevin Polish (Carmichaels, Pennsylvania) took the lead earning enough points to put himself in the lead field position heading into the final nomination shoot. "I had a little struggle at my first Paralympic tournament out in Phoenix with my back rest issues, but I did a lot of work on it and I came out here feeling more confident and made a lot better shots."
"I was trying to make harder shots than what I needed to in the wind and I just needed to relax-that's what I did this weekend, it went well," added Polish. "It would be a good inspiration for me to make the Paralympic team and a lot of guys who have known me for years and a lot of guys who are just getting into the sport; to show them anyone can do it, you just have to put your mind to it."
"The level of talent on this field is amazing. There's some real surprises, some people have been putting in a lot of time and effort and doing what they're supposed to do. I'm very pleased and think we're looking very strong for Rio," commented National Para Head Coach Randi Smith.
Michael Lukow (Salt Lake City, Utah) finished on top of the recurve open men's division putting him solidly in first. "It helps for the next stage," he commented. "I'm focusing now on [my next tournament in] Costa Rica and hearing the National Anthem a LOT. I'm mentally working on the process and how it should be done. I got a new prosthetic back in February. It's made a big difference; the toe is a lot stiffer so it handles weight a lot better."
Kinga Kiss-Johnson (McCormick, South Carolina) maintained her strong hold on the top spot for the recurve open women's division. "I'm nervous, but excited right now," commented Kiss-Johnson. "Time is just now hitting me. We're almost one hundred days out from Rio, not that' I'm counting, but we're almost there! It would be a dream come true for me to make the team. For my basketball life, my dream was always to make the Olympics and I never had a chance, so now God led us on a new path after injury and let us choose a different dream. I want to congratulate all the archers on the field on great shooting."
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