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Wednesday is a repeat. Team USA was as successful as they were on the opening round of competition at the 2010 Archery World Cup Stage 2 in Antalya, Turkey. Today was highlighted by Olympians Brady Ellison and Jennifer Nichols returning for their second consecutive gold-medal final in the World Cup's recurve mixed team competition.
The Ellison/Nichols tandem ran through the elimination rounds with decisive scores en route to setting a new FITA World Record for mixed team competition, when they knocked off the formidable Russians, 152-140, in the semifinal round. The American duo opened the day with a commanding 151-144 victory over Italy. Team USA will face-off with China for the gold on Thursday.
Team USA won its first medal at the second leg of the 2010 Archery World Cup by claiming the bronze in the compound mixed team event. This squad featured Erika Anschutz and Duane Price as they defeated Croatia in a tight contest, 5-4 sets in the opening round that needed a tie-breaker to determine the winner. The quarterfinal round saw the United States down New Zealand, 5-3. In the semifinals, Mexico outlasted Team USA 5-3. Anschutz and Price rebounded with a commanding 6-2 victory over Italy for the bronze medal.
Archers compete at four qualifying World Cup stages earning valuable points based on final placement in hopes of earning one of the 32 athlete positions that will compete in the World Cup Finals in Edinburgh, Scotland, Sept. 18-19. Ogden, Utah will host the pivotal third leg of the event, Aug. 3-7. The fourth and final qualifying stage will be held in Shanghai, China.
Ellison's hot streak continued in the men's recurve elimination round where he advanced to the semifinals for the second time this year. Ellison shutout his first two opponents of the day with 4-0 decisions over China's Shenzhou Zhao and Michael Peart of Great Britain. In the round of 16, Ellison was tied twice in three sets again Great Britain's Alan Wills, but in the second set Ellison picked up the valuable two set points for a 4-2 win. Ellison was tested by Ukraine's Dmytro Hrachov in the quarterfinals. Ellison had a 4-0 lead after the first two sets, dropped the third set 28-27, however rebounded in the fourth set 28-26 to win 6-2 and advance to the semifinals on Friday.
USA Archery resident athlete Jake Kaminski opened the day with a 5-1 decision over Yoshitaka Nishimura of Japan, and then lost a heartbreaking match to Viktor Ruban of Ukraine, 4-3, where a tie-break was needed ending Kaminski's run. Five-time U.S. Olympian Butch Johnson was ousted in the first round by Russia's Alexey Nikolaev, 4-0. Three-time U.S. Olympian Vic Wunderle was also shutout in the opening round by Thomas Aubert of France.
The U.S. men's compound archers are guaranteed at least one medal as Braden Gellenthien and Roger Willet, Jr. will shoot against each other in the semifinals on Friday. Gellenthien's tournament started with a tiebreaker win over Roberto Hernandez of El Salvador, 4-4. After that point, Gellenthien was untouchable with a 5-1 and 6-0 decisions over Vladimir Bartol of Croatia and Dincer Ekiz of Turkey, respectively. Gellenthien defeated Australia's Robert Timms, 6-2, to advance to Friday's semifinals.
Willet opened the men's compound eliminations with a 5-1 victory of Majid Gheydi of Iran, 5-1. From that point forward, Willet was tested and had two consecutive 5-3 decisions over Chris White of Great Britain and Shaun Teasdale of New Zealand. To reach the all American semifinal round, Willet recorded another 5-1 victory over Jorge Jimenez of Spain.
Ben Cleland, competing in his first 2010 World Cup event, just fell short of the semifinals by dropping a close match to Martin Damsbo of Denmark. Cleland was unstoppable in the opening rounds with victories over: Mads Juul Krogshede of Denmark, 5-3; Marko Jamnik, 5-1; and Jose Duo of Spain, 6-0. Price was eliminated in the opening round.
Anschutz performed strong in the women's compound elimination round by qualifying for the semifinals and will shoot again on Friday to determine her overall placement. She opened the day with a 5-1 score over Tanja Zorman of Croatia. In the round of 16, a tiebreaker decision went to Anschutz for a 5-4 win over Olga Bosch of Venezuela. The quarterfinal round was not easy on the nerves for Anschutz or Albina Loginova of Russia. The first two sets were tied at 2-2. Anschutz took the lead 4-2 by recording one more hit. In the fourth and final set, the two ladies were tied again, giving the victory to Anschutz for scoring the first 5 points in the new set-match system.
Jamie Van Natta made it to the quarterfinal round before being eliminated by Nicky Hunt of Great Britain, 5-3. Van Natta opened with a tiebreaker win over Sandrine Vandionant of France, 5-4, and a 6-2 decision over Felisa De La Concha of Mexico. Lindsey Christensen and Diane Watson were both eliminated in the first round.
The U.S. women's recurve archers had a tough elimination round in the individual portion of their event. Nichols advanced to the quarterfinals where she was defeated by Dola Banerjee of India. Nichols, a two-time U.S. Olympian, opened with a pair of decisions over Alana MacDougall of Canada, 4-3, and Helena Fernandez of Spain, 4-2. Khatuna Lorig, a four-time Olympian for three different countries, won her first match 4-0 over Zahara Shams of Iran, and was defeated by the same score in the second round by Elena Kuznetsova of Belarus. Kristin Braun and Heather Koehl, both USA Archery resident athletes, were defeated in the opening rounds to end their tournament action.
Thursday's action will feature the team medal matches in men's and women's divisions in both compound and recurve. The gold-medal finals in mixed team divisions will also be contested. The men's recurve and compound teams will go for gold, while the women's squads will shoot for the bronze. Ellison and Nichols will be the featured in the gold-medal match in mixed recurve competition.
The Archery World Cup, which started in 2006, has been a popular event for FITA, the international federation for archery. The event allows organizers to select unique competition venues. In Antalya, the athletes shot the final matches on the beautiful beaches leading to the Mediterranean Sea. The Archery World Cup has grown into one of the annual premiere events for the international federation that attracts approximately 300 athletes from 30 countries at each of the various qualifying stages.
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