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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Today was an intense day for Team USA at the Rio 2016 archery individual eliminations. Tough brackets pitted challenging opponents for emotional matches.
First up, Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Florida) faced hometown favorite, Brazil's Marcus D'Almeida. With close ranks, the match promised to be fierce, and D'Almeida had the crowd screaming. "It was grueling, it took me a couple ends on the practice round to calm back down," commented Kaminski after taking the win 6-2, finishing with matching sets of 29. "The U.S. crowd was probably only about one twentieth of the Brazil side, but I still felt the support."
Then, even harder, Kaminski faced teammate and longtime friend Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) in the second round. Ellison came off a 6-0 win in his first match, shooting 8 out of 9 arrows in the 10 ring for a near perfect score. The wind changed and the two U.S. archers powered through to find their stride.
A line call on a close arrow gave Ellison the first set 27-26 and then Kaminski took the second 29-27. After that, Ellison drilled a 30 and a 29 to take the win and advance. Ellison and Kaminski fist bumped as they walked onto the field and hugged immediately following the match.
In three consecutive Olympic Games, this is the first time Ellison has made it past the second round of eliminations. There is no better feeling that getting over that hurdle, but no worse feeling than winning over a teammate.
"It sucked, we come all this way and have an American bracket," commented Ellison. "But it's good for Team USA because we advance someone. At this point I just keep taking it one match at a time."
Competition continues tomorrow as Zach Garrett (Wellington, Missouri) steps onto the field for his first round match in the afternoon session. Follow worldarchery.org for live scores and NBC Olympics for live streaming options.
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