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June 09, 2011

U.S. Archers to Shoot for Gold

The third day of competition at the Archery World Cup in Antalya, Turkey provided excitement for spectators and those who followed the action from home. Team USA archers started out strong with the mixed team rounds, in which a male and female archer are paired in competition.

Compound archers Christie Colin and Braden Gellenthien started out strong and never looked back, taking a 155-151 win over the team from France to punch their ticket to the gold medal match, where they will face Italy later this week, while France went on to win the bronze. For the recurves, the team of Khatuna Lorig and Brady Ellison was eliminated in the quarterfinals, unable to stop opponent Mongolia. Korea went on to take the bronze in its match versus Mongolia, while  teams from China and India will compete for the gold.

Compound men began their day with the 1/48 and 1/24 individual elimination matches. As noted in an interview today with FITA Secretary General Tom Dielen, the top eight archers in each category are now automatically given byes into the 1/16 round, while the remaining archers narrow the field of play.

Team USA's Braden Gellenthien, Rodger Willett, Jr. and Reo Wilde all advanced as far as the quarterfinal matches, while teammate Darrin Christenberry was stopped in the 1/16. In the quarterfinals, it was a tight race with close scores; Wilde was ultimately eliminated by Amir Kazempoor (IRI), while Braden Gellenthien was unable to shake off Dietmar Trillus (CAN). Willett took his match versus Seppie Cilliers (RSA), advancing to the semifinals, where he earned his berth to the gold medal final, defeating Trillus, 149-146.

For the compound women, all four members of Team USA were eliminated in the 1/16 round - Van Natta by Ida Mostert (RSA); Christie Colin by Katia D'Agostino (ITA); Erika Anschutz by Shabnam Sarlak (IRI); and Kailey Johnston by Patricia Tchepikoff (FRA). In Saturday's final, it will be Parsamehr Mahtab (IRI) competing against Ivana Buden (CRO) for the gold medal, and Albina Loginova (RUS) shooting versus Seyedeh Halimianavval (IRI) for the bronze.

On the recurve side, U.S. archers Brady Ellison, Jacob Wukie and Joe Fanchin began the day in fashion, shooting their way into the 1/8 round, where Wukie and Fanchin were eliminated by Gael Prevost (FRA) and Xiaoxiang Dai (CHN) respectively. Ellison remained strong in his quarterfinal upset of Dong-Hyun Im (KOR), 6-2, and in his semifinal match versus Dmytro Hrachov (UKR), winning 7-3. Ellison, advancing to the gold medal final, will face Korea's Jin Hyek Oh, while Hrachov will meet Dai in the bronze match.

The recurve women also came out swinging; though Team USA's Lori Cieslinski was stopped in the 1/16 by Justyna Mospinek (POL), Jennifer Nichols took a 6-4 victory in her match against Celine Bezault (FRA). Nichols then faced top-seeded Bo Bae Ki (KOR), who took the match in 3 sets, eliminating Nichols in the round of 8. Khatuna Lorig, coming off a personal-best qualifying round, was byed into today's 1/16, where she clinched a 6-0 shutout victory over Japan's Kaori Kawanaka. The four-time Olympian went on to defeat Nina Mylchenko (UKR) in the 1/8 round, also 6-0, but was stopped in a tough quarterfinal loss versus Ren Hayakawa (JPN), 0-6.

USA Archery and Team USA members thank the United States Olympic Committee for its support of the recurve teams competing in this Archery World Cup event and the Easton Foundations for its support of the compound teams. The competition continues tomorrow and Saturday with team eliminations and medal matches. For complete results, visit World Archery at http://www.archery.org, and follow USA Archery on Twitter for updates throughout the event.

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