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MEXICO CITY, Mexico - The World Archery Championships compound finals day saw Team USA take the compound men's world team title with a stunning gold match against Italy, followed by a bronze win for Braden Gellenthien (Hudson, Massachusetts) individually.
Post team competition, Gellenthien commented: "We came out of the gate really strong with a 59 out of 60, gave ourselves a two point lead, and the second end Kris and I were still getting dialed in from the practice range and from that point on we switched on the on switch." Dropping only five points over the whole match, Team USA took a solid 235-228 win.
Teammate Steve Anderson (West Jordan, Utah) agreed: "We wanted to start fast and get up a few points. We did that, and then we just had to cruise through the wind, we weren't pressured, we could just focus on making good shots."
Anderson added: "We always want to hit every ten, this is our jobs and we should hit every ten, especially today; it was pretty good conditions. As a team we shot a 235, that will win most matches."
Kris Schaff (Billings, Montana), who is no stranger to the international scene, but just shot his first team round with Anderson and Gellenthien in Berlin earlier this season shared: "I couldn't ask for two better teammates up there. Before we got on stage, I was a little nervous, but Braden and Steve reminded me it's a team round, if you miss one, you miss one, we're there to back you up. Throughout the match, I missed my fourth arrow and that was it, so I was calm after the first arrow and just executed shots."
Behind the team throughout the competition this week was National Women's Head Coach Songi Woo, who really enjoyed the experience coaching the compound men's team - a change from her normal work with the recurve women. "It was really great fun, they kept joking with each other, which kept things nice and relaxed and they really helped each other. They did a great job themselves," shared Coach Woo.
Later in the afternoon, Gellenthien returned to the impressive stage with a modified bow set up and a somber attitude. Looking intense and focused, he opened with a perfect 30 to the 29 of France's PJ Deloche for an early lead and never looked back. Taking the win 147-143, Gellenthien commented: "The TRX38 is a dream, I love this new bow from Mathews. It really allowed me to aim a bit finer and relax when the pressure is up; ultimately I'm able to make a better shot that way and it worked out. Once I had that one point lead and another point the second end, I was really able to relax and focus on myself. I think that's a big advantage that I have is being able to stay focused on my own game and not really worry about what the other guy is doing."
On coming home with gold and bronze, Gellenthien added: "It's the best feeling in the world to be on the podium representing your country at a World Championship. While I would have really liked to be walking away with gold, the bronze is pretty darn good too!"
Competition resumes tomorrow with the recurve finals where Team USA's Mackenzie Brown will shoot for individual bronze, live on the Olympic Channel. Results throughout the competition are available at www.worldarchery.org. The medal matches this weekend will stream live on the Olympic Channel. For more, follow USA Archery onFacebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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