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STRASSEN, Luxembourg - World Archery's newly introduced Indoor World kicked off this past weekend in Strassen with over 300 archers participating. This open-entry event featured qualification and head to head elimination matches with exciting televised medal match finals.
USA's National Target Champion, 14-year-old Casey Kaufhold has been taking the nation by storm this year, breaking national records and earning titles, but in her breakout international event performance, Kaufhold scored a new cadet world record in qualification with 589/600 to take the top seed in the recurve women's division.
"It feels really good because I knew I could do it in practice so it feels great to transfer it over to competition, any competition, but this big competition especially," Kaufhold told World Archery. "I feel ready [to compete on the senior stage], I feel mature enough, and I can handle the pressure and shoot well under these circumstances."
In elimination matches, Kaufhold smoked 6-0 shut outs in each of her first four matches. Still never losing a single set, but tying on some high scoring arrows, Kaufhold took a 6-2 semifinal win over Great Britain's Sarah Bettles to meet the Netherlands' Gabriela Bayardo for gold. The two battled hard to meet at a 5-5 tie and force a one arrow shoot off. Kaufhold's arrow soared perfectly into the 10 ring and sealed the win and her first international title.
Reigning junior indoor world champion Cassidy Cox seeded second in the compound women's division with a personal best of 592/600. Cox commented on social media: "I got a little nervous towards the end and dropped a few more points than I wanted, but that's okay, it's something for me to work on."
Taking 5-point wins in the first two matches, Cox was shooting strong in eliminations. In the quarterfinals, a 146-146 tie went to a shoot off, which she won with a 10 to advance. A 146-143 semifinal loss sent her to the bronze final with Denmark's Tanja Jensen. Cox opened with the lead, but ultimately finished 143-145 behind Jensen, just off the podium. Cox shared: "It would have been cool to be on the podium this weekend, but for the first indoor world cup of the season, I won't complain."
Braden Gellenthien and Paul Tedford qualified high for the compound men. The 2018 Indoor World Cup Final bronze medalist, Gellenthien took the top seed with a 597, just ahead of Tedford's fourth place 595. Tedford was upset in the first round with a high scoring 150-149 match. Gellenthien was also stopped early in the quarterfinals, 147-148 by Croatia's Domagoj Buden.
The Indoor World Series continues this weekend with the Macau Open. Complete results from the competition are available at www.worldarchery.org
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