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NIMES, France - The final day of the third leg of the Indoor Archery World Cup hosted all finals matches. Two U.S. juniors from The Archery Learning Center's Hornet Team made it through to the finals, as did top ranked seniors Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) and Dave Cousins (Standish, Maine). After several tense and exciting matches, the U.S. archers return home with a silver and a bronze.
After setting a world record in qualification with 599 out of a possible 600, Ellison continued to post incredible scores in elimination matches. Perhaps one of the most exciting matches of the weekend was the Rio 2016 bronze medalist's semifinal head to head with London 2012 Olympic Champion Oh Jin Hyek.
The two matched arrow for arrow, splitting each of the possible 5 sets. Ellison loosed his arrow first - into the then ring, but Oh's shot was just closer to the center to advance to the gold final.
Ellison opened the bronze match with an arrow in the 9, but then kept all arrows afterwards solidly in the 10. Great Britain's Tom Hall matched Ellison for the first set with a 29, but then failed to meet Ellison's following three sets of perfect 30s, giving Ellison the win 7-1 and the bronze.
The compound men's bracket saw many upsets in eliminations with such tight scores. Dave Cousins, only 4 points down from the top seed in qualification, ranked 14th, but climbed to the bronze final for an exciting and close match. His opponent, Jean Philippe Boulch of France opened the match down one point. Cousins retained his lead through the first four sets, but ended the match on a tie for a one-arrow shoot off. Again, while both shot 10s, it was Boulch's arrow that took the win.
Before competition began for the juniors, Hornet Team coach George Ryals IV shared his hopes for his archers: "The goal or end game for the Hornet Team experience isn't a list of wins or medals to feather our cap. We're not just an archery team. #HORNETPOWER is a mentorship that shepherds young shooters into adulthood and helps them become the absolute best version of themselves they can possibly achieve. Archery teaches them how to give the entire 100% when they set themselves to a task that's hard, when perfection is an unattainable but worthy pursuit. It's not the wins and accolades they end up with; it's who they become while on the journey."
Roy Green III (Cumberland, Wisconsin) qualified 7th, but climbed the brackets, upsetting No. 2 Viviano Mior in the quarterfinals 149-147 and eventually reaching the gold match after a winning shoot off arrow in the semis. Green opened the match with two perfect 30s to take an early lead, but then dropped several nines as his opponent, Italy's Manuel Festi came back with two 30s of his own. While they split the final end matching arrow for arrow, Festi had the upper hand and took the gold win, leaving Green to claim the silver.
Greens' teammate Hannah Bartos (Yankton, South Dakota) had a strong lead in qualification, ranking first with a wide margin. Bartos posted strong scores through her first ever international event, she was bested in the semifinal and earned a spot in the bronze match, where the Netherlands' Evelien Groeneveld clinched the victory as Bartos suffered an equipment failure.
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