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MEXICO CITY, Mexico - USA will be well represented at the 2015 Archery World Cup Final this weekend in Mexico City. With only 8 archers in each division qualifying after a heated series of 4 events, the Final this weekend wraps up the outdoor season with prestige and excitement. Here is what you need to know:
Since the event premiered 10 years ago, Brady Ellison (Globe, Arizona) has been a hot name. Finishing on the podium for the last five consecutive years, plus being the world's only three-time winner of the event (2010, 2011, 2014), Ellison is expected to perform well.
The nerves are not setting in: "You have no pressure at the World Cup Final," said Ellison, a silver medalist in the London 2012 Olympic Games. "You win one match, you're into the medal matches and from that point on, you just go for it. It's a kind of no-hold-nothing-back tournament, relaxed and you have nothing to lose - so take the risk."
But Ellison will have a tall order for that first match: beat teammate Collin Klimitchek (Victoria, Texas). Klimitchek, a consistently high performer this season, kept Ellison off the podium earlier this year in Antalya with a 6-2 victory in the bronze final.
In one day this summer, Mackenzie Brown (Flint, Texas) helped seal the win of the U.S.'s first ever World Cup Stage team gold hours before taking her first individual gold on the circuit. Just one month ago, Brown clinched bronze at the Rio Test Event, and has quickly earned her nickname, "The Girl on Fire."
Seeded 5th for this weekend, Brown will have to take on big names including Choi Misun and Ki Bo Bae of Korea after facing Colombia's Ana Maria Rendon in her first match. Rendon, like Brown, is shooting her first World Cup Final, and just recovered from an injured shoulder.
"Honey Badger" Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho), in his sixth World Cup Rinal, returns to Mexico, the country where he won the first ever World Cup Final 10 years ago. "It's been a lot of hard work, paying attention to the equipment, knowing what I've got and just working really, really hard," Wilde said.
Seeded 3rd for the event, Wilde faces a tough field. Archers in the bracket boast titles such as 2013 World Champion Mike Schloesser and World ranked No. 1 Sebastien Peineau.
The first match for USA's Crystal Gauvin (Dayville, Connecticut) may be one of the most exciting of the event. Seeded 6th for the event, but ranked third in the world, Gauvin, who came out of the woodwork recently as our strongest internationally competitive compound woman, will take on Linda Ochoa. Ochoa, competing in her home country as a fan favorite, may have a slight advantage, but Gauvin and Ochoa, good friends, have shot head to head several times this season and it is still anyone's game.
World Archery predicts Gauvin and Colombia's golden girl Sara Lopez could be the two we see in the gold final this Saturday.
How to Follow Along:
Competition kicks off Saturday with the compound events, and continues with recurve events on Sunday. World Archery will have a live stream of all matches available online here. For more, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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