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July 07, 2011

Ten of Twelve Archers Continue to 1/16

Ten of the twelve archers representing the U.S. at the World Archery Championships in Torino, Italy this week will continue in the individual eliminations tomorrow, with the 1/16 round. 

Compound and recurve archers shot their 1/48 and 1/24 elimination matches today. All of the U.S. compound archers qualified in the top eight of their categories, and were thus pre-seeded into the 1/16 round. For the recurves, the women opened the day. 

Khatuna Lorig (Los Angeles, CA) started with a decisive 7-1 win in her 1/48 match against Kaori Kawanaka of Japan, shooting consistently high scores and tying just one set. Lorig then advanced to the 1/24 where she faced Un Ok Ri (PRK). Lorig, the four-time Olympian, edged out her opponent in all but one set, winning the match 6-2. Tomorrow, Lorig will face Celine Bezault (FRA) in the 1/16. 

Miranda Leek (Des Moines, IA), the 18 year old "archery thunderbolt" who led the U.S. women to a number five qualification on Monday, began her day with a challenging match against Mariana Avitia (MEX). It was a give-and-take match, but in the end, Leek shot six set points to Avitia's four, advancing to the 1/24. Meeting Christine Bjerendal (SWE), Leek missed only one set, eventually clinching a 6-2 win. She will face Laishram Devi (IND) in the 1/16 tomorrow. 

Two-time Olympian Jennifer Nichols (Cheyenne, WY) kept American fans on the edges of their seats as she shot a very close match against Romina Quiroga (ECU) in the 1/48. With the score tied at 5-5, Nichols delivered under pressure, shooting a 10 to Quiroga's 7 to advance. In her 1/24 match versus Alejandra Valencia (MEX), Nichols was more decisive, giving up only one set and winning 6-2. In the 1/16, Nichols will meet number 2 seed Daomi Jung (KOR). 

For the recurve men, Resident Athlete Joe Fanchin (Oceanside, CA) opened his day with a match against Roman Vengerov (AZE). With a strong 29 and 30 to buoy him, Fanchin scored six set points to Vengerov's four for the win in the 1/48. Shooting next against Xiaoxiang Dai (CHN), with whom he was closely matched, Fanchin was unable to stop his opponent, and was eliminated with a difficult 4-6 loss. 

Jacob Wukie (Oak Harbor, OH), also a Resident Athlete and the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Alternate, shot well under pressure in his first match against Aki Vertanen (FIN). Wukie, tied at 5-5, shot a 10 to his opponent's 9 in the tiebreaker to take the win. In the 1/24, he met 16th ranked Pedro Vivas Alcala, who was too strong to stop; despite winning the second set, Wukie was eliminated, 2-6. 

On Friday, individual eliminations continue through the quarterfinals. Compound team medal matches, individual semifinals and individual medal matches will take place on Saturday, while recurve team medal matches, individual semifinals, and individual medal matches will take place on Sunday. 

Team USA is being supported by a full staff at this event, including National Head Coach KiSik Lee, USA Archery Resident Athlete Administrator/Assistant Coach Guy Krueger, Coach Michael Usherenko, Coach Mel Nichols, and Team Leader Cindy Bevilacqua. USA Archery thanks the U.S. Olympic Committee and the Easton Foundations for their support of the U.S. teams at this event. 

According to World Archery, more than 600 archers from close to 90 countries are shooting for world titles, medals and Olympic berths at the World Archery Championships this week. For complete results from today's matches, visit USA Archery will be tweeting results, quotes and other updates live throughout the week; follow "usaarchery" on Twitter and "like" us on Facebook to join in the excitement of the World Archery Championships!

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