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London, United Kingdom - Brady Ellison (AZ), the number one ranked archer in the world, has taken the men's recurve individual gold medal at the London Test Event, after a matchup with Im Dong Hyun, Korea's favorite who also set two world records earlier this week. Contested at Lords Cricket Grounds in London, the Test Event provided archers with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with variable wind and weather conditions that have the potential to create interesting results next year.
Earlier in the event, Ellison, together with teammates Joe Fanchin (CA) and Jake Kaminski (CA), propelled the men's recurve team to a gold medal victory over Chinese Taipei early last week. Qualifying third in the ranking round, Ellison was byed through to the 1/16, and shot just one individual match before today, winning a 6-0 shutout versus Crispin Duenas of Canada.
This morning, Ellison came out swinging, shooting nine tens and a single nine in his first win of the day, a 6-0 versus France's Jean-Charles Valladont. In the quarterfinals, America's golden archer met Haziq Kamaruddin (MAS), who took only the second set in his matchup against Ellison, who won, 6-2. In the semifinals, it was a tougher meeting: Ellison was faced with Khairul Mohamad (MAS), the only archer to win an individual match against Ellison during the 2011 World Cup season.
Ellison took the first two sets in the match to post a 4-0 lead. Though Mohamad came back in the third set, it was not enough to edge out the world's number one archer, who closed the door with a decisive 6-2 win for his berth in the gold medal final against Im, one of Korea's top Olympians.
The London Test Event is designed to put the proposed Olympic facility through its paces - and, in the case of this gold medal matchup - showcased the talents of two archers who are strong contenders for the finals at the 2012 Olympic Games. In the final, Im opened with a 28 to Ellison's 25, taking an initial 2 point lead. However, Ellison hit a 28 in the next end, took the lead, and never looked back. With a 28 to close out the match, Ellison won the gold medal, 6-2, giving Im the silver, while Mohamad took bronze.
Ellison was the sole U.S. competitor to advance past the individual quarterfinals this week, though several others had notable finishes and close matches, including Miranda Leek (IA), who knocked out Korea's Gyeonghee Han in the 1/8 round before Leek herself was eliminated. Four time Olympian Khatuna Lorig (CA) won her 1/32 and 1/16 matches only to be stopped in the 1/8; Heather Koehl (WI) took her 1/32 match but retired after a loss in the 1/16.
On the men's side, Joe Fanchin shot his way through victories in the 1/32 and 1/16, but met his match in Japan's Takahuru Furukawa during the 1/8. Jake Kaminski had a very close 1/32 loss to Xing Yu of China, despite very solid shooting, noting to his fans on Twitter that he shot "eight tens, seven of them x's, to lose."
Ellison and Kaminski were also debuting new equipment for USA Archery sponsor Hoyt while at the London Test Event. Shooting the new Formula HPX bow with F7 limbs, Ellison created quite the stir, with images of the new bow immediately circulating throughout social media networks. "It is the best shooting bow I have ever held in my hand," noted Ellison of the new equipment that helped him shoot his way to gold this week. Kaminski echoed his teammate's sentiment: "I think it's the cleanest feeling setup I have ever shot."
For complete results from the London Test Event, photos and more, visit http://www.archery.org. Next up for Team USA is the Pan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico, where they will compete for medals in this "Olympics of the Americas." Follow USA Archery on Twitter and Facebook for coverage throughout this upcoming event.
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