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May 15, 2013

Epic Rivalries and Wild Weather Forecast for World Cup Eliminations

SHANGHAI - With qualifications in the books, and the 1/48th and 1/24th round eliminations out of the way, it's down to team and individual match play at the first stage of the Archery World Cup in Shanghai, China, and Team USA archers will have some tough matches - and challenging conditions - on their hands.

Head-to-head matchplay begins in earnest tonight, and team events start tomorrow. Early rounds saw some surprising results, including veteran competitors going out early and Team USA's newest additions staying strong through their first rounds. 

Perhaps the most interesting match for Team USA tonight will be the 1/16th meeting between USA's Brady Ellison (Chula Vista, Calif.) and Australia's Taylor Worth, who stopped Ellison's friend and mentor Butch Johnson (Woodstock, Conn.) in the 1/24th last night. Worth has managed to edge out Ellison in their last three matches, most notably in the 1/16th round at the 2012 Olympic Games.

In discussing his defeat of Ellison in London, Worth was quoted today by World Archery as saying "of course, my victory against him in London brings out some nice memories." If Ellison is able to keep Worth at bay, he faces very tough potential competitors in the 1/8 and quarterfinal rounds: Im Dong Hyun and Jin Jae Wang of Korea.

In the first round of matchplay, Dave Cousins (Standish, Maine) and Diane Watson (Hudson, Fla.) both won their 1/24th matches, and advanced to the 1/16, joining their teammates, who received byes into the next round.

On the recurve side, Jake Kaminski (Gainesville, Fla.), Johnson, Miranda Leek (College Station, Texas) and Heather Koehl (Sheboygan Falles, Wisc.) all clinched wins in the 1/48th round, only to be stopped by particularly tough opponents in the 1/24th, including Jean-Charles Valladont (FRA), Worth and Elena Richter (GER), who edged out Kaminski, Johnson and Leek respectively.

Thursday's 1/16 round matches begin at 9:30 a.m. local time (9:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday for those following in the U.S.). 

Besides the Ellison-Worth matchup, other matches to watch include USA's Joe Fanchin (Chula Vista, Calif.) versus Japan's Olympic medalist Takaharu Furukawa in the 1/16th; Mackenzie Brown (Chula Vista, Calif.) versus Hyun-Jung Joo (KOR) in the 1/16th; a potential match-up between Cousins and Adam Ravenscroft (GBR) in the 1/8th; and a potential meeting between Jamie Van Natta (Toledo, Ohio) and GBR's Andrea Gales in the 1/8th.

For complete results and live scoring, visit USA Archery is carrying live photos and updates throughout the event on Facebook and Twitter. 

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