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August 25, 2013

Three Silver and Two Gold for Team USA at Wroclaw World Cup

WROCLAW, Poland - At the end of the fourth stage of the World Cup, the US compound men finished on top again. After just missing the seemingly elusive gold team medal in the past two World Cup stages, Reo Wilde (Pocatello, Idaho), Dave Cousins (Standish, Maine) and Braden Gellenthien (College Station, Tex.) regained their spot on the podium. In a surprise match up against a young team from South Africa, the experienced US archers prevailed taking a slow but steady lead to finish with gold. Korea took bronze over the Netherlands.

Gellenthien and World Ranked No. 1, Erika Jones (Grand Island, Neb.) joined forces for the mixed team gold match and continued to be the team to beat. Taking a huge lead in the first set, Team USA held tight and finished 7 points ahead of Russia for the well-deserved gold medal. The Netherlands claimed bronze over Mexico. 

Team USA's compound women, led by Jones, had high expectations for their gold medal match against Italy. An unfortunate several 7s in the first two ends gave Italy a 5-point lead at the half. The US women rallied with a stronger third set, lowering the deficit to only 2 points, but Italy finished out with 5 straight 10s to close the match and clinch the gold. The bronze match was an exciting pairing of two strong and emerging compound teams: Colombia and Korea, and while Colombia took an early lead, a devastating finish kept them from the final podium and gave Korea the bronze. 

Jones' day continued in her third gold medal match, again facing Russia's World Ranked No, 2, Albina Longinova. The two battled fiercely, with Jones taking a lead after the first set, which she lost for the next three. However, she finished strong enough to force a tie and one-arrow shoot off. Jones shot a 9 to Longinova's 10, winning silver for the US.

Kristina Berger of Germany took the compound women's bronze over Korea's Bomin Choi in a one-arrow shoot off. Pierre-Julien Deloche of France took his first major individual title, winning compound men's gold over No.1 seed, Sergio Pagni of Italy. The bronze final between Alexander Dambaev of Russia and France's Dominique Genet went to Dambaev after an incredibly close match.

The recurve men's team finals promised great excitement as they recreated the exact matchups of the 2012 Olympic semifinals. Last summer the US men's team was strong enough to defeat the team from Korea, however as Korea has appeared on top of the podium frequently this summer, it seemed tides might be shifting. The wind was shifting too, creating difficult shooting conditions, which did not affect Korea's team. With only three arrows outside the gold, Korea took a 225-196 victory over the US.

The bronze match also was a turn of events from last summer, with Mexico claiming an unexpected win over Italy. The recurve women's gold match between India and Korea was neck and neck at the end of each set until Korea dropped an unfortunate 6, leaving the win wide open for India. The bronze medal went to the team from Denmark, another surprising upset over Russia.

Korea came back in the mixed team final to win gold over Italy by an incredible margin of 24 points following Italy's disastrous second set with a 5 and 4. Chinese Taipei took bronze over Japan, again with an impressive margin.

Mexico's Alejandra Valencia kept the women's recurve podium from being entirely the women from Korea, winning bronze over Joo Hyun Jung in a one-arrow shoot off, clinching her space in the Paris World Cup final, meaning Miranda Leek will not be in France representing the US. Yun Ok Hee took gold over Ki Bo Bae, also meaning that Joo will make it to Paris as well.

The men's recurve final starred all four archers competing from Korea. Lee Seungyun started the gold match with a perfect 30, but missed an arrow in his second set. Lee regained the lead in the third set, eventually winning gold over Jin Jae Wang. Im Dong Hyun was victorious over current Olympic Champion Oh Jin Hyek for bronze.

The US shot well with a young team facing the toughest competition at the top of their games, and will send four archers to Paris for the World Cup Final: Jones, Ellison, Wilde, and Gellenthien. These archers will also represent Team USA in Belek Antalya, Turkey, for the upcoming World Championships and can hope to turn some of these silver medals into gold. 

Complete results from Wroclaw are available here

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Some information attributed to World Archery Communication.

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