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MARRAKESH, Morroco - Africa kicked off the start of the Indoor World Cup season, hosting the continent's first ever Indoor World Cup event. The first of four events, archers must compete in at least two stages, including the fourth and final stage in Las Vegas, NV. The top 16 finishers at each stage garner valuable Indoor World Cup Ranking points and the top 16 qualifiers will compete in the Final in Vegas.
Defending Indoor World Cup champion, Braden Gellenthien (College Station, Tex.) sat in a three-way tie for first after both the first and second halves of qualifications. European Indoor Champion, Pierre Julien Deloche (FRA) and Outdoor World Champion, Mike Schloesser (NED) were stiff competition and Gellenthien ultimately settled for third in qualifications before grabbing gold in eliminations.
In a semifinal match against Deloche, Gellenthien forced a one-arrow shoot off. The two shot dead center Xs so perfect that it was impossible to determine a winner. Gellenthien took the win in a second shoot off, proving his superiority under such great pressure.
In an all USA gold final, Bridger Deaton (Pella, Iowa) climbed the rankings from an 8th place seed to defeat Peter Elzinga (NED) before facing Gellenthien. The two battled fiercely, also going to a one-arrow shoot off. Both archers kept their arrows in gold, but Gellenthien's was closer to the center, and he claimed the win.
Joseph Wilkin also represented the US in the compound men's division. In his first international competition, Wilkin was a surprisingly tough competitor, ranking 14th and winning his first match against France's seasoned Sebastien Peinau using a bow borrowed from teammate, Gellenthien. Wilkin told World Archery his secret to success; "I felt confident shooting Braden's bow... because I know he's done great things with it!" Wilkin then forced a shoot off against the bow's owner in the 1/8th. Gellenthien's 10 stopped Wilkin from continuing.
The US Compound women swept qualifications, finishing one-two-three: Lexi Keller (Omro, Wis.), Crystal Gauvin (Dayville, Conn.), and Jamie Van Natta (Toledo, Ohio). Van Natta was forced to wait until the last second for her equipment to arrive, but as this has happened repeatedly to this highly composed athlete, Van Natta was able to tie for second with little preparation.
Gauvin cleared all her matches cleanly through to the gold. Her final match against Inge Van Caspel (NED) continued the trend of the day, going to shoot off. Both archers fired off solid 10s, but Gauvin was the clear winner, seizing another US gold.
Lexi Keller was knocked out in the quarterfinals in a match up against strong competitor Pascale Lebecque (FRA), who had suffered from an unfortunate qualification score, but came back strong to finish in the top four. Keller shot strong scores to force a shoot off, but it was Lebecque who was deemed the victor. Van Natta was also eliminated in the quarterfinals by eventual bronze medalist, Naomi Jones (GBR).
Rick Van Der Ven (NED) cruised through this competition, finishing first in qualifications and sweeping each of his elimination matches to claim recurve men's gold. USA's Jeremiah Cusick (Chula Vista, Calif.) shot in a tough bracket to qualify 8th. Cusick was successful in his first several matches before facing Van Der Ven in the quarterfinals. Cusick posted the most set points of the day against Van Der Ven, and almost took the win. However, a 6-4 victory allowed Van Der Ven to advance over Cusick.
Brett Lazaroff (Great Neck, N.Y.) also represented the US in the recurve men's division, posting a score to qualify 12th on the first day. Lazaroff improved throughout the competition, defeating No. 5 seed Chui Chun Man (HKG) before falling to France's Oliver Durand in the quarters. USA's Christine Harrellson also shot in the compound division, qualifying 14th; Harrellson retired after a loss in the 1/8.
The Indoor World Cup continues December 8-9th in Singapore and will feature hot competitors, Reo and Logan Wilde, Brady Ellison, Erika Jones, Christie Colin shooting for the US. For complete results from this past weekend including detailed score reports for each archer, visit: http://www.ianseo.net/Details.php?toId=449. Also check out USA Archery on Facebook and Twitter for updates and photos from the range.
Some information attributed to World Archery Communication.
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