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ODENSE, Denmark - The Archery World Cup Final began today with compound finals, where Crystal Gauvin and Reo Wilde racked up bronze finishes for the U.S. The Archery World Cup Final culminates a long summer of qualifying events as the top seven archers in each division plus one archer from the host nation in each category are invited to this prestigious, annual showdown event.
Gauvin faced USA teammate Dahlia Crook (Piedmont, Kansas) in the sixteen year-old's World Cup Final debut for the first match of the day. Crook is the youngest of the archers competing this weekend and made a strong run at the quarterfinal, but Gauvin took the win with a six-point margin. "I've been watching this event on YouTube for years," commented Crook. "It's so cool to be here, just to actually be in the World Cup Final. It's a great experience to be competing with the best eight archers of the season."
Gauvin continued to the semifinal against eventual gold medal finisher, Italy's Marcella Tonioli. Gauvin posted a second 139 of the day to Tonioli's 144 to move on to the bronze final with Turkey's Yesim Bostan. Guavin opened with a strong lead, up three points by the second end. Her lead slipped to only one point when Bostan scored a perfect 30 in the fourth end, but with a tied score for the final three arrows, Gauvin clinched the win with her strongest score of the day 144-143.
"I was really mad about my second match," Gauvin told World Archery. "I went and watched the boys shoot, tried not to think about it too much. I came here to win, I thought I had a really good shot. I'm happy with the bronze, but it's definitely a disappointment. I have the world field next week, so on to that."
Wilde has competed at seven World Cup Finals since the event's inception in 2006, which he won. Since then, he has competed each year from 2011-2016 and has picked up two silver medals and including today, two bronze finishes. In the 2015 Final Wilde fell first round to Turkey's Elmaagacli, and this morning faced Turkey's Evren Cagiran. The outcome went his way today as he clinched the win 144-143 after retaining a one-point lead from the second end in a very tight match.
In the semifinal, South Africa's Seppie Cilliers bested Wilde 144-143 after a perfect 30 in the third and fifth ends gave him a slight edge in the score. Wilde came back with his strongest scores of the day, posting only four arrows out of the 10 ring to clinch the bronze win 145-144 against Croatia's Domagoj Buden.
Competition continues tomorrow with the recurve finals where 2016 Olympic medalists Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) and Zach Garrett (Wellington, Missouri) take the stage. Garrett makes his World Cup Final debut, while Ellison makes his seventh repeat appearance as history's most decorated World Cup Final Champion with an unprecedented three titles. Complete scores from the competition can be found at www.worldarchery.org and live video is available at www.archery.tv.
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