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TORONTO, Canada - Team USA took to the shooting line today in seven of eight medal matches, and claimed an incredible eight medals, including two Parapan American Games champion titles. The archers, untouchable all morning, also sealed four Paralympic quota slots for the U.S.
Launching the solid win streak, 2013 World Archery Para Championships silver medalist Martha Chavez (Lemoore, California) took an early lead in her bronze match and from set one, never looked back. She outshot her opponent, Borges of Brazil by a whopping 8 points to clinch the bronze and start Team USA's medal count of the day.
U.S. Compound Open Men swept the podium taking all three medals early in the day. Ben Thompson (Ladson, South Carolina) took on Kevin Evans of Canada and dominated. With only one arrow outside of the gold, Thompson had a strong and steady lead through the match for a final bronze win of 141-138.
2012 Paralympic silver medalist Matt Stutzman (Salt Lake City, Utah) and Andre Shelby (Jacksonville, Florida) shot an intense head to head match for gold. After going back and forth all day in qualifications yesterday, Stutzman took the top seed, but today was Shelby's day. Shelby took four of five sets by a single point, including a final 10-10-10 for a perfect finish and gold win. This solidified the first two Paralympic quota slots of the day for the U.S.
Kinga Kiss-Johnson (McCormick, South Carolina) took an early 4-0 lead in her match for recurve open women's bronze, following the USA's win streak. Her opponent from Brazil tied the 3rd set and won the 4th by a single point bringing the score to 5-3. Kiss Johnson was not rattled, and when O'Neill Layolle missed her third arrow, Kinga was clear through for the 7-3 win.
Natalie Wells (Manteca, California) stepped up to the line next and dropped only one rough arrow in the second set. Her 6-2 win earned her the gold medal, champion title, and sealed the U.S. a recurve women's slot for the Paralympics.
Timothy Palumbo (Buffalo, New York) his match for recurve open men bronze in the fastest match of the day. With just 9 arrows, Palumbo clinched the win and carried on the unbeatable U.S. win streak.
In the final gold match of the day, Paralympian Eric Bennett (Surprise, Arizona) struggled. At first down 4-0, he finally found his shot and came back to a 4-4 tie. In the final three arrows Rezende of Brazil countered with a 10-10-8 and took the set and the win. Bennett claimed silver and the eighth U.S. medal of the day, and another Paralympic quota slot.
Complete results from the Games can be found here. For updates from the field, follow USA Archery on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Photo by Joe Kusumoto Photography.
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