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August 28, 2011

Fischer, Nicely Take Championship Titles

Legnica, Poland - With the world watching, Emily Fischer (TX) and Kendall Nicely (ME) of Team USA displayed remarkable tenacity today, achieving individual gold medals, and in Nicely's case, a new world record and her second consecutive youth world championship title.

With Fischer's and Nicely's wins today, the U.S. caps off a winning week at the World Archery Youth Championships in Legnica, returning with two individual gold medals, gold in the compound cadet mixed team event, gold in the women's and men's compound cadet team finals, silver in the compound junior mixed team final, and bronze for the compound junior men's team.

In the compound cadet gold medal match versus Mexico's Sonia Villafan, Fischer opened with a 28 to tie her opponent on the first end, and then took a one point lead in the second. Three eights from Villafan in the third end created a solid advantage for Fischer, who stayed strong enough to win the gold medal by three points, 136-133. 

With her win, Fischer took her third gold medal of the week. "It is so exciting," commented Fischer. "I was really nervous because my opponent is a strong archer. My dad was with me all the time. He is so proud of me."

Shooting for compound junior women's gold medal, Nicely was also evenly matched with her opponent, Inge Van Caspel (NED). Both archers have previously taken youth championship titles, and both are also solid competitors on the senior circuit.

Nicely showed that she was ready for this matchup, beginning with a perfect 30 and then a 29 to take a two point advantage after the second end. With another 10-10-10, Nicely secured a solid lead, and appeared to be chasing the world record match score of 147.

"She led 118-113 after 12 arrows and therefore needed to be perfect in her last end. She started with a 10, then another one 'on the line.' She was a bit shaky with the release of her last arrow, but she caught a last 10," according to World Archery Communications, to win the gold medal and a new world record.

These individual medal wins follow on the heels of great shooting from Team USA in the team events. In the mixed team finals,  the compound cadet mixed team of  Bridger Deaton and Fischer prevailed over the team from Mexico for the gold, 155-154, while the compound junior mixed team of Nicely and Garrett Abernathy will return with the silver medal following their matchup with Mike Schloesser and Van Caspel (NED), 145-151.

The compound junior men's team of Abernathy, Ben Cleland and Aaron Groce took bronze on Saturday following their own win versus the team from Mexico. For the compound cadet women's team event, it was a matchup between the USA and Mexico once again, in which the U.S. team prevailed, 220-217. The U.S. compound cadet men's team faced Turkey, which World Archery noted was a "surprise opponent" in the gold medal final. Beginning with a three point lead, the U.S. team stayed strong throughout the match, eventually taking the medal, 228-224. 

Other notable finishes in the team events included the Korean teams taking an astonishing five out of six possible medals in the recurve events, with Chinese Taipei being the only country to prevent a complete recurve sweep by powerhouse Korea.

For the compound junior men, it was Canada claiming the gold in the team event, while Mexico took top honors for the junior women. In the compound junior men's individual, Colan Schreuders (NED) became the new world champion, while Stephan Hansen (DEN) took the championship title for the compound cadet men.

In the individual finals on the recurve side, it was Sung Wookyeong who is the new world champion in the junior men's group, while India's Deepika Kumari took the title for the junior women. For the cadets, Korea's Park Seong Cheol won the gold medal for the men, while on the women's side, it was gold and silver for Korea, with Ryoo Su Jung and Shin Jeong Hwa finishing on the podium.

Team USA was supported at this event by National Head Coach KiSik Lee, together with Assistant Coaches Jim White, Rich Cockrell and Jim Pruitte. The Team was led by DIane Watson and Assistant Team Leader Robert Turner. USA Archery thanks the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Easton Foundations for their support of Team USA at the World Archery Youth Championships. For complete results, visit http://www.archery.org.

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