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April 12, 2015

Para World Ranking Event Draws Global Participation

PHOENIX, Arizona - Japan, Brazil, Canada and Mongolia were just a few of the countries sending athletes to participate in this year's AAE Arizona Cup, and one of the biggest winners was today's Para World Ranking Event.

Thanks to all of that international participation, archers enjoyed a high level of competition that will help them to prepare for the upcoming World Archery Para Championships, a qualification event for the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games.

 "This event gives the athletes a chance to train against somebody that they don't normally train against, and to see what the competition out there is really like," explained Para National Head Coach Randi Smith.

Judging from the results of today's finals, Team USA is on track for success.

The United States swept the podium in the compound men's open category, with Matt Stutzman winning gold, Andre Shelby taking silver, and Gabriel Marcozzi winning bronze.

Team USA's Martha Chavez just missed the bronze medal by one point in the compound women's open category. Gold went to Jane Gogel of Brazil; Canada's Karen Van Nest took silver; and Japan's Nako Hirasawa won bronze.

Jerry Shields of the United States came from behind to win a gold medal versus teammate Chuck Lear in the W1 para category, in a Paralympian showdown. Newcomer Lia Coryell, competing in a category that now combines men and women, took bronze.

Also winning gold today: Lee Ford-Faherty, who competed for Team USA at London 2012 and hopes to return for Rio 2016. Her opponent, Oyun Buyanjargal of Mongolia, took silver. The U.S. clinched one more medal in this category, with U.S. veteran Kinga Kiss-Johnson winning bronze versus Fabiola Dergovics.

Tomohiro Uyeama of Japan was the big winner in the recurve men's open group, taking gold versus USA's Michael Lukow. American archer Tim Palumbo won bronze in his matchup against Ariunbold Tserendolgor. 

 "My goal was to be mentally stronger than last year, and as of right now, that is working," Palumbo explained. "Now it's on to the next event and hopefully come away better than I did here."

When asked his advice for young archers competing with a disability, Palumbo was encouraging: "Don't get frustrated if you shoot a little differently, because archery's supposed to be fun. It's a sport for everybody, and it's a life sport, too."

His coach agreed: "Get out there and shoot," Smith urged young archers. "Find a Junior Olympic Archery Development (JOAD) Club, look for events like the Endeavor Games or the National Junior Championships. Get out there and get some competition experience. And as soon as you can shoot adult distances, contact me," she added with a smile.

For complete results from today's Para World Ranking Event, visit:

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