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RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil - Zach Garrett (Wellington, Missouri) has already picked up a team silver medal at his Olympic Games debut and now he's through to finals day individually.
"It's bigger, it's better, more exciting, more nerve-wracking," commented Garrett. "I'm loving it; it's a race of emotions and more high stress, but my job is to manage it so I think I'm doing a good job. It feels good to advance past the 1/16th round, but there's a lot of tournament left. I feel really confident."
Garrett opened his first match with a smashing 6-0 victory with 8 out of 9 arrows in the gold. He then faced Canada's three time Olympian Crispin Duenas for a more challenging match. While Garrett had a strong opening lead, Duenas fought back and the match went all five possible sets. Needing a gold to win with his last arrow, Garrett shot a perfect 10.
"I knew it was going to be a 10 about a half second after I released," shared Garrett. "It was relief, happiness, a rush of excitement, and then all at once realizing you have to get ready for another day."
On competing on this stage in his first Games, Garrett added: "I thought team rounds would prepare me for what it is like to shoot matches on this stage, and they did to some extent. There are a lot of distractions, camera shutters click a thousand times right before you release, but when you are there and totally in the zone, nothing else really exists. It's just you and the target."
Competition continues for Garrett and USA's Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) as they go head to head in the 1/8th round Friday morning. Follow worldarchery.org for scores and NBC Olympics for live streaming options.
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