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DUBLIN, Ireland - After bagging two world team champion titles and a bronze finish yesterday at the World Archery Field Championships, U.S. archers earned another three individual titles, three silver medals and a bronze medal today.
The compound juniors were standouts of the day. Teammates Sophia Strachan and Savannah Vanderwier went head to head for the gold after qualifying 2nd and 3rd in the ranking rounds. "It was intense," commented Strachan. "To be honest, it also feels like home because we do this all the time, we flip-flop like every tournament. It was really fun but also kind of hard because we both wanted to win, and expected the other to win, too - to do well."
During the last match, the two were tied at 15-15 after the first target. Then, Strachan took a one-point lead and retained it through the finish to win 59-58. Vanderwier shared: "We knew it was going to be close, so we just went out there to shoot our arrows and see where they landed. Either way, it is the U.S. who won today."
Steven Collins, who won team gold yesterday, took the silver finish today: "It was good, but he shot better than me. I guess this match, including all I've been through this week; it's definitely a learning experience. This is my first international ever, so I guess it's still good."
Mark Schaludraff, who was on the gold winning team with Collins, also earned a spot in the junior barebow finals. Climbing from a 4th place seed to a shot at gold, Schlaudraff had impressive elimination matches. In his final match against Italy's Noceti, the archer from Italy was the victor, leaving Schlaudraff with silver.
2014 world field champion Miriam Trafford, who hails from a long line of successful field archers, shot for bronze and despite a severe knee injury, competed all weekend to finish on the podium with third place honors.
For the seniors, Brady Ellison and Steve Anderson won gold and world champion titles in the recurve and compound divisions. Ellison, who has been having quite a season, winning his fourth World Cup Final Champion title last weekend after picking up team silver and individual bronze at the Rio 2016 Olympics, retained his World Field Champion title from 2014.
Anderson's win today came after a hard-fought battle with Denmark's Stephan Hansen. Hansen opened with a perfect 18 to Anderson's 16, but in the second end, it was Anderson with the perfect 18 to bring the score to a tied 34-34. Anderson picked up a point in the third end with a 17 and held the lead to clinch the win 66-65 for his first World Champion title in any discipline.
Anderson posted yesterday on social media: "It will be a great match, Stephan has obviously shown he is one of the world's best archers and it will take my best day to beat him. I'll have to be on my 'A' game to give him a match. Regardless of Sunday's outcome, I'm proud of the work I have done here this week and I'm proud of my wife as well! That said, I'm ready to rock and roll. Let's do this!" Anderson definitely brought his A-game and his wife also won a silver medal for Mexico.
Dave Cousins and Abigail Weir both competed today as well. Cousins, who qualified first and was part of the gold medal team yesterday, shot his way to the bronze final for the compound senior men. After three ends he had a one-point lead, but fell in the final three arrows to concede the win 66-65. Weir, who competed in the junior barebow women's bracket also finished 4th with a 33-40 loss to Great Britain's Sophie Benton.
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