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ANKARA, Turkey - After a 6-4 win for his third bronze medal finish in as many World Archery Indoor Championships, Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) commented to World Archery: "It was good enough to win. I am the indoor bronze medal King. It's three bronze medals in a row."
Ellison earned the top seed earlier this week with a 595 and then shot almost all perfect 30s through eliminations for smooth, easy wins until the semifinals where he fared a close 4-6 loss to shoot for bronze against Italy's Mandia Massimiliano.
Ellison opened the bronze final with a 28, dropping the first set and then tying the second with a 29. He explained, "The finals field is awesome. The lighting is so completely different from over on the practice range that your sight, the target, the string glare; everything is completely different. So getting sighted in quick was the key. I missed my first two and then I was good."
He added: "I wasn't worried. I figured that if my first one hits it's gonna be good but if it doesn't not to be scared about it - and hope that he doesn't shoot four 30s in a row." After an initial deficit, Ellison's confidence and cool mental game paid off - with four 30s in a row for the win!
With his eyes on Rio this summer, Ellison is overall very happy with his indoor season: "I'm thinking this season is rivaling my 2011 one." Ellison has made the podium at every event this year, from gold at the second stage of the Indoor Archery World Cup in Bangkok, and bronze at the third stage in Nimes, to his third champion title at the event final in Las Vegas.
The compound junior women, Cassidy Cox (Albuquerque, New Mexico) and Athena Caiopoulos (Irvine, California) had strong performances throughout the competition, from respective second and sixth seeds in qualification, to impressive elimination match wins. Caiopoulos upset No. 3 Russia's Alexandra Savenkova in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals where she faced her teammate, Cox. The close match resulted in a 145-144 win for Cox, pushing both through to individual medal matches in the incredible finals venue this morning.
14-year old Caiopoulos took on hometown favorite, Turkey's Evrim Saglam, who had picked up a team gold just before their match, giving her a slight advantage of familiarity with the venue and a confidence boost. Caiopoulos had expressed nerves heading into the match, and took a few ends to find her stride. But as her arrows narrowed in on the 10-ring, she quickly closed a 1-point gap and took a lead after 9 arrows. Caiopoulos clinched the bronze with a 140-139 win.
Cox also faced nerves, unable to get her second arrow off in the 20 seconds allotted. After a miss, Cox kept her composure and continued with steady shots. A 142-134 win for Mexico's Lucia Valeria Chavarria left Cox with the silver.
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